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Oregon Bills Relating to Corporate Control of Agriculture

Page history last edited by cswanee 6 years, 11 months ago

Oregon Bills Relating to Corporate Control of Food



County preemption bills (stealth pro-GMO bills)


"Citizens in Jackson County have completed their signature-gathering drive for a countywide GMO crop ban. The initiative will be on the May 2014 ballot. Citizens in four other counties are hard at work on similar county-level GMO crop bans.


But if Monsanto and the rest of the biotech industry have their way, those local bans may be moot. Lawmakers have introduced two bills in the Oregon legislature (SB633 and HB3192 or more info) that would take away the rights of Oregon citizens to act at the county level to control their local food economies. SB633 and HB3192 would make the regulation of "seed-related" matters the sole prerogative of the state. Counties would have no say."  See also http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9915


SB 633 (sponsored by Hansell, Johnson, Kruse, Roblan, and Baertschiger) – Prohibits counties from passing anti-GMO bills.  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/sB633/Introduced 


HB 3192 (sponsored by Esquival) – Prohibits counties from passing anti-GMO bills (same as SB 633, but in the house).  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB3192/Introduced 


Take Action:  Click to fight for Your Right to Local Control Over GMOs! 


Learn more & sign a petition against local preemption Here! 


For an easy way to contact your representatives in the Oregon legislature about any bills, click on the following http://www.leg.state.or.us/writelegsltr/ 



Since passage of SB 633 and HB 3129 would make counties unable to protect themselves from the harm of corporate agriculture, concerned counties would have to rely on the state.  Recent experience with canola demonstrates that it may be very difficult for counties to group together to get a "critical mass" to convince the state to protect farmers in an organic farming county.  Besides working against SB 633, and HB 3192, it will be useful to work for some of the following bills. 


Potentially good anti-GMO & anti-canola bills


SB 433 (sponsored by Sens. Edwards and Prozanski, Reps. Barnhart, Gelser, and Holvey) – Prohibits raising of canola except in specially designated areas.  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/SB433/Introduced) 


HB 2427 (sponsored by Reps. Gelser, Holvey, Hoyle, Nathanson, Tomei and Sen. Edwards) – Prohibits raising of canola except in specially designated areas, which cannot include the Willamette Valley.  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB2427/Introduced) 


To listen to testimony by Takashi Ishizaki of Tohoku Seed Co. on March 19 related to HB 2427,  go to <http://www.leg.state.or.us/cgi-bin/list_archives.cgi?archive.2013s&HAGNR&Agriculture+and+Natural+Resources>, then choose 03/19/2013 (8:00 AM).  This will download audio that you can play by RealPlayer.  His testimony starts a little after 1:38:50.  Sen. Chris Edwards, Rep. Sara Gelser, and Rep. Phil Barnhart also  provide supportive testimony.


From http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9919:

"Allowing for canola production in the protected zone of the Willamette Valley would be ruinous for several high-value industries, including the world-renowned specialty seed and clover industries, and organic and fresh market vegetable growers." 


Take Action:  Click to stop Canola From Ruining a $100 Million Agricultural Sector in the Willamette Valley!


See also alerts from Oregonians for Farm & Food Rights and Friends of Family Famers


HB 2319 (sponsored by Buckley) – Allows State Department of Agriculture to impose appropriate precautions and safeguards on growing of agricultural and horticultural commodities to prevent spreading of genetically engineered material to nearby property used for farming practices.  Relating specifically to the "Farming and Forest Practices Act", this bill Includes the language "'Farming practice' does not include the planting, growing or harvesting of an agricultural or horticultural commodity containing genetically engineered material."  To me, this act seems good, but some argue that since it is empowering the State to impose precautions against the spread of GMO's, it is allowing them.  If HB 3292 passes, it would seem this bill is not needed. (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB2319/Introduced)


HB 2175 (sponsored by Boone) – Makes foods that contain or are produced using genetically engineered material subject to labeling requirements.  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB2175/Introduced)


HB 2530 (sponsored by Holvey, Boone, & Buckley) – Prohibits importation of genetically engineered fish into this state.  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB2530/Introduced)


HB 2532 (sponsored by Holvey, Buckley, & Keny-Guyer) – Makes foods that contain or are produced using genetically engineered material subject to labeling requirements.  As far as I can tell, this is the same as HB 2175, but perhaps there is some difference.  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB2532/Introduced)


HB 2715 (sponsored by Buckley) – Authorizes counties to establish control areas for commodities containing genetically engineered material. (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB2715/Introduced).  This bill is perhaps mostly bad, since it allows a county to establish an area in which GMO's may be grown, but it does include the following language "a county may establish one or more control areas within the county for a commodity containing genetically engineered material. The county may prohibit, limit or condition commercial or personal production of the commodity, authorize the control or eradication of the commodity or exclude the processing of the commodity within the control area."  To me, this gives counties explicit state authority to prohibit GMO production or processing. 


HB 2736 (sponsored by Buckley) – Exempts farmer from liability for inadvertent acquisition of GMO's. Makes manufacturer liable for damages.  Prohibits open field growing of certain pharmaceutical crops. Requires notice to State Department of Agriculture prior to open field growing of genetically engineered plants.   (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB2736/Introduced


HB 3177 (sponsored by Holvey, Gomberg, and Boone) – Requires labeling on genetically engineered fish sold as food, except at restaurants. 

(see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB3177/Introduced)


HB 3290 (sponsored by Barnhart and Buckley) – This prohibits the raising of genetically engineered alfalfa, with violations subject to a maximum fine of $25,000.  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB3290/Introduced) 


HB 3291 (sponsored by Barnhart and Buckley) – The same as HB 3290 except that HB 3291 includes a sunset in 2019.  (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB3291/Introduced) 


HB 3292 (sponsored by Barnhart, Boone, and Buckley) – prohibits a wide variety of GMO's from being grown in Oregon, "unless commodity is incapable of reproducing or material is declared incapable of damaging other commodities and, if for food, material has been declared safe for consumption."  It prohibits GM salmon. (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB3292/Introduced)


HB 3293 (sponsored by Barnhart, Boone, Buckley, Gomberg, and Keny-Guyer) – requires, upon request of a neighbor or the state department of agriculture, admitting to growing GMO's.It further makes a farmer planting GMO's liable to product manufacturer for value of product that spreads to a neighbor.Note: Federal patent law allows the manufacturer – usually Monsanto – able to sue, but this law would make the farmer using Monsanto products liable, rather than the farmer that gets contaminated. (see https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Text/HB3293/Introduced)


For more information about GMO's, see

What is a GMO

Details about GMO's - intro by Dr. Vandana Shiva

GMO cancer research

Failure to Yield – Union of Concerned Scientists report on GMO's



Of course, the underlying reason why we have to protect ourselves from GMO's is that corporations and other moneyed interests have too much power over our electoral and governmental decisions.  Several bills in the Oregon legislature call for a federal amendment to partially address this issue.  The best one is HJM 6.


HJM 6 (sponsored by Clem, Holvey, Barnhart, Dembrow, Tomei, and Witt) – calls for a federal amendment that allows Congress and states to control campaign finance and undoes corporate constitutional rights.  This is the only bill before the legislature that calls for an amendment that addresses both "money is speech" and "corporations are not people". (click here to view or download HJM 6)


To connect with a state coalition that is pushing for passage of HJM 6 click here.

To see some suggested modifications to proposed federal amendments, click here.



Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee (Oregon House)


Member                                              phone                          email
Brad Witt (D), Chair                            503-986-1431             Rep.BradWitt@state.or.us
Sal Esquivel (R), Vice-Chair                 503-986-1406             Rep.SalEsquivel@state.or.us

Caddy McKeown (D), Vice-Chair          503-986-1409             Rep.CaddyMcKeown@state.or.us
Brian Clem (D)                                    503-986-1421             Rep.BrianClem@state.or.us
Wayne Krieger (R)                              503-986-1401             Rep.WayneKrieger@state.or.us
Jeff Reardon (D)                                  503-986-1448             Rep.JeffReardon@state.or.us  
Jim Thompson  R)                               503-986-1423             Rep.JimThompson@state.or.us
Ben Unger (D)                                     503-986-1429             Rep.BenUnger@state.or.us
Gail Whitsett (R)                                 503-986-1456             Rep.GailWhitsett@state.or.us


Rural Communities and Economic Development (Oregon Senate)


Member                                                           phone                          email
Arnie Roblan (D), Chair                                   503-986-1705             Sen.ArnieRoblan@state.or.us
Herman Baertschiger Jr. (R), Vice-Chair           503-986-1702             Sen.HermanBaertschiger@state.or.us
Ginny Burdick (D)                                          503-986-1718             Sen.GinnyBurdick@state.or.us
Betsy Close (R)                                             503-986-1708             Sen.BetsyClose@state.or.us
Floyd Prozanski (D)                                       503-986-1704             Sen.FloydProzanski@state.or.us


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