Voters ban GMO crops in southern Oregon

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Voters in two southern Oregon counties approved measures to ban genetically engineered crop. Jackson County voters approved a measure by a 2-to-1 margin following a campaign that attracted a bushel of out-of-state money to fund both supporters and opponents of the measures.

A similar, lower-profile measure in neighboring Josephine County is also headed to victory, leading 58 percent to 42 percent.

Though it’s a local issue, the Jackson County measure attracted national interest. A pair of competing campaigns raised $1.3 million to sway the county’s 120,000 registered voters. Nearly $1 million of that money was raised to defeat the proposed ban.

“The voters here have many generations of fruit and vegetable growing, so they’re among the most educated voters,” said Chuck Burr, president of the Southern Oregon Seed Growers Association. “The opposition spent a million dollars and couldn’t convince the people.”

The outcome, however, won’t start an immediate trend in Oregon because Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill last fall that prohibits local governments from regulating genetically engineered crops. An exception was made for Jackson County because its measure had already qualified for the ballot.

Read full original article: Voters Ban GMO Crops in Southern Oregon

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