City Club Debates GMOs

EUGENE, Ore. –Earlier this year the Oregon legislature passed a bill preventing counties from regulating genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Many local farmers said this will eliminate organic farming because seeds are often carried by birds and bees to other farms, so stopping the spread of seeds will be nearly impossible.

But those in support of state control said Oregon is a major producer of seed crops and many farmers want state regulations instead of different rules in different counties.

“To allow genetically modified crops to be grown we are making a choice to create an environment in which local, conventional, and organic farmers are not a priority,” said Ann Kneeland, Support Local Food Rights representative.

“The World Health Organization, the US National Academy of Sciences, the European Commission, and the American Medical Association have come out with clear endorsements of their safety,” said George Grier, Lane County Farm Bureau treasurer.

Opponents of the legislation said it was pushed through by major corporations like Monsanto, but supporters said many studies have been conducted on GMOs and there’s no evidence they’re harmful to people.

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