Oregon court reaffirms decision to block Josephine County’s proposed GMO ban

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The Oregon Court of Appeals has decided to keep blocking a voter-approved initiative that bans genetically engineered crops in Josephine County.

The appeals court last week affirmed a lower-court decision that said a 2013 state law forbidding local action against genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, took precedence over the county’s 2014 ban.

That ruling by Circuit Court Judge Pat Wolke came in a lawsuit from Oregon farmers Robert and Shelley White, who once grew GMO sugar beets for the Swiss corporation Syngenta.

Portland attorney John DiLorenzo Jr., who represented the Whites, said the appeals court decision made the county ordinance unenforceable. In fact, the county never tried to enforce it and did not defend it in court, the Grants Pass Daily Courier reported.

Mary Middleton, leader of the group Oregonians for Safe Farms and Families that defended the ban in court, conceded defeat.

“I don’t believe there’s another next step in Oregon,” she said. “There’s not another court to go higher with this. We’ve come to the end of the road, in terms of litigation.”

Middleton vowed to keep seeking change at the legislative level, saying lawmakers are ignoring the will of the people.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Oregon appeals court keeps blocking county’s GMO ban