Oregon’s latest “GE free zone”

An Oregon farmer who led the fight to establish a “GE free zone” in her county says farmers like her were losing markets.

“The Rogue Valley is known for their beet seed,” said Elise Higley is Executive Director of the Our Family Farms Coalition. “So some of our beet farmers weren’t able to continue their contracts because of cross contamination.”

She tells Brownfield the “GE free zone” includes all of Jackson County Oregon.

“Our region is one of the top five growing seed regions in the nation so we’re excited to be able to offer that and excited to be able to be able to provide that seed.”

The GE alfalfa growers in Jackson County who opposed the GE free zone have lost on appeal. So where do they go from here? George Kimbrell, legal counsel for the Our Family Farms Coalition says..

“If folks want to grow genetically engineered crops, there’s plenty of places they can do that, namely the rest of our country,” Kimbrell said.

A small number of counties in California, Washington, Hawaii and another in Oregon have enacted similar ordinances establishing “GE Free Zones.”

Audio: Elise Higley, Our Family Farms Coalition

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