Our Family Farms

Sign on to support SB 434 and HB 2882!

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Sign on to support SB 434 and HB 2882!

Our Family Farms and coalition partners are back in Salem to protect Oregon agriculture and the specialty seed industry by creating liability for genetically engineered (GE) contamination events in Oregon! 

SB 434 and identical bill HB 2882 have been filed and are live.  You can read more details about the bills here.

Sign-on to our letter of support here.

SB 434 and HB 2882 hold patent holders or licensed manufacturers accountable when GE organisms are found on land without permission of the owner or lawful occupant. These bills WILL NOT pit farmer against farmer. The parties that will be held responsible are the corporations behind genetic engineering, not the farmers who use them since in some instances, contamination is out of the hands of the farmer who planted the seed.

Sign-on to our letter of support here.

It is possible that we will need to call upon you to help us support these bills in the next few weeks. In addition to signing our letter of support, you can help by submitting testimony or traveling to Salem to testify at a hearing along with our lobbyist and other coalition members. Let us know how you can support us through this form.

Sponsors and sign-ons of these bills include: Sen. Frederick, Sen. Manning, Sen. Dembrow, Sen. Prozanski, Sen. Gelser, Sen. Golden, Rep. Marsh, Rep. Helm, Rep. Sanchez, Rep. Holvey, Rep. Hernandez, Rep. Nosse, and Rep. Gomberg.

Support_sb_hb.pngWe’re not doing this alone -- Center for Food SafetyOregonians for Safe Farms and Families, Cultivate Oregon, and Friends of Family Farmers are involved in this important work to ensure that we have a specialty seed industry for generations to come.

As many of you know, GE contamination is a one-way contamination and the burden falls on the farmer who needs to fence it out, which can be impossible in some geographic regions. 

The legal precedent is not favorable for a farmer who is inadvertently contaminated by somebody else's GE crop. GE contamination is often irreparable. For example, the GE bentgrass infestation in Malheur and Jefferson counties is now the responsibility of the state since the federal government deregulated bentgrass, so there aren’t any legal teeth to hold Scotts and Monsanto responsible for this ongoing contamination. 

Oregon is an incredibly unique seed growing region and it’s important that we protect this legacy. Oregon is one of the top five vegetable seed producers in the world, owing to the state’s fertile valleys and temperate climate. Specialty seed growers in the state grow radish, cabbage, onion, swiss chard, squash, beets, grasses, among others, for seed, which are planted by farmers around the world. 

Our specialty seed industry is worth at least $40 million dollars annually with room for growth if the right protections are in place. Ensuring that Oregon has a robust specialty seed industry that includes organic seed production will help create an environmentally and economically resilient food system, especially in terms of adaptive seeds that will help fight climate change.

More details, full text of both bills, and testimony from last year can be found here.