Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WEIRD: Oregon Ag Dept working to undermine Oregon Ag

The Willamette River ValleyThe Willamette River Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)This is another example of how moneyed interests capture public agencies and bend them back and use them as weapons against the public interest instead of regulators on behalf of the public well-being.

Allowing genetically tampered crops loose in the Willamette Valley is unwise, unnecessary, and totally undesirable. There is no benefit to Oregonians from allowing the gene tampered foods to intermix in the Willamette Valley -- the only benefit is to the corporate interests who would be only too happy to despoil the Willamette Valley and destroy its status as a haven for organic producers.

The industrial "phood" that results from gene tampering is designed solely to allow corporate interests to capture the entire food supply and destroy peoples' ability to grow pure, real food.
Good afternoon ~

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has fast-tracked the approval of canola production in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This would include Genetically Modified Canola.

This would mean that our crops that are related to canola (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, etc) would be at risk for cross pollination and contamination by GM canola.

Many gardeners rely on seed grown in the Willamette Valley for their home gardens.
Please read the letter below from the Seed Ambassadors and act now to express your thoughts on this issue.

Please comment by THIS FRIDAY to prevent the Oregon Department of Agriculture's temporary rule permitting GM canola and thus, bypassing the public comment period.

It is up to us to protect the genetics of our food.

Hello Everyone!

We here at the Seed Ambassadors Project haven't sent out any e-mails in a while, but are compelled to do so today: There is an immediate threat to our food supply because the Oregon Department of Agriculture has fast- tracked the approval of canola (including GM canola) production here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

As many of you may know the Willamette Valley is one of the top 5 places in the world for growing and supplying specialty seed and maintaining seed diversity. Seed grown here not only is sold by local Oregon companies, such as Adaptive Seeds, but is also bought by other seed companies such as Johnny's, Fedco, and lots of others both nationally and internationally. Basically, seed grown here supplies the world with food.

One of the specialty seeds that the Valley is perfect for is brassicas, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, rutabaga, turnip, radish, kale, cabbage, etc. Canola is also a brassica but spreads rampantly and cross pollinates with a lot of other brassicas with detrimental effects. Oregon State University has conducted research proving that canola will cross pollinate with many different crops including turnips, broccoli raab, some kales, rutabaga, and possibly radish and broccoli.

Meaning the presence of canola production in the Willamette Valley will definitely contaminate and destroy those other seed crops. Without doubt.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has previously maintained a canola exclusion zone in the Valley. However, in the past few months there have been a series of meetings held behind closed doors to change this zone to allow canola (including genetically modified canola) to be grown in the valley unchecked and with disregard to existing seed pinning map isolation guidelines.

ODA only just released a press release on Friday, August 3rd saying they will grant a temporary rule to allow canola this Friday, August 10th.
By issuing a temporary rule the ODA is avoiding the requirement for public comment and therefore behaving unilaterally with only special interests in mind. Not only does this decision harm seed growers but GM canola cross pollination will also potentially threaten the livelihood of any of the certified organic growers in the area. There are good reasons why canola has been banned in the Willamette Valley by ODA up to this point, and pressure on ODA to lift these bans needs to be countered.

Please contact the ODA and Governor Kitzhaber yourself and make your voice heard! It does not matter if you are not an Oregon resident, this decision effects everyone in a huge way and they need to be reminded of that.

And spread the word!

ODA phone number: (503) 986-4552
ODA Director Coba:

Governor Kitzhaber: (503) 378-4582 ; or email

Remember, we only have until this Friday, August 10th to change this decision!

Check out the following links for more information:

Friends of Family Farmers: Willamette Valley Immediately Threatened by Canola

2006 OSU Special Report on Canola Outcrossing Potential in the Willamette Valley

GMOs At The Door, Wild Garden Seeds, Frank Morton

Willamette Valley Farmers Continue the Canola Debate,

Thanks for your time and help!

Sarah Kleeger
Andrew Still

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