WHAT IS A SEED SANCTUARY AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
With the "Green Revolution" in the 1980’s, agriculture became industrialized, and genetically engineered commodity crops (corn, sugar beets, canola, cotton, and soy) became the norm. These crops are subsidized by the U.S. government, and are planted in hundreds of millions of acres across the U.S.
Not only are these crops grown with multiple applications of pesticides, they have the ability to spread their pollen and contaminate traditional crops growing nearby. In fact, corn pollen can travel up to 16 miles in a windy area! So establishing GE-free zones, or seed sanctuaries, is very important so we can maintain regions where traditional crops can be grown without the risk of contamination.
WHY ARE FAMILY FARMERS CONCERNED ABOUT CONTAMINATION FROM GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS AND WHY DO THEY NEED OUR HELP?
If a farmer's traditional crop becomes contaminated by genetically engineered crops, that farmer's crop becomes illegal to sell or save the seed because it would contain the intellectual property of the patent holder (for example, Monsanto, Syngenta, or other chemical companies that created the genetically engineered seed.)
WHO IS "OUR FAMILY FARMS"?
We’re a nonprofit coalition of family farmers and individuals committed to protecting farmers growing traditional crops from the contamination and other impacts caused by genetically engineered crops.
We believe that the only way to keep traditional crops and seeds from being contaminated by genetically engineered crop pollen is to create GE-free zones such as the one in Jackson County, Oregon that was created in 2014.
Our Family Farms works with farmers, legislators, scientists, and concerned citizens to educate them regarding the benefits of farming practices that keep genetically engineered crops out of designated regions. Without these seed sanctuaries, genetically engineered crops can and will contaminate traditional crops, subjecting farmers to potential lawsuits and threatening the integrity of our seed supply.