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jackson county oregon ban on GE alfalfa settlement reached

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After months of negotiations, OFFC and the Center for Food Safety have reached a proposed settlement with the two GE alfalfa growers that had sued to overturn Jackson County’s ban on genetically engineered crops. The settlement still needs to be approved by the County and federal court, but we expect it will be.
Under the settlement, the Jackson County ban passed by voters will stand and the federal court’s opinion upholding the measure will not be appealed! This will leave the will of Jackson County voters in place and protect family farmers growing traditional crops from contamination by genetically engineered crops.
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monsanto defeated! court ruling in oregon allows ban on GMO crops.

Message from the Our Family Farms Coalition:

May 29, 2015 – CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS! We have DEFEATED the first major stage of the Monsanto-backed legal challenge that attempted to overturn our Jackson County ban on genetically engineered crops!!!!  This is a huge win for family farmers threatened by GMO contamination and a win for everyone who cares about the future of our food supply!

Here’s a link to the well-written decision by Federal Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke that at just 11 pages is a very readable decision even for us non-lawyers!  The court upheld the Ordinance on the grounds that it was intended to protect against damage to commercial agricultural products, which is allowed under the Right to Farm Act, and because it was expressly allowed by the Oregon Legislature.

Thank you all so much for everything you have done to make our collective victory today possible.  We simply couldn’t have done it without your help and support.   There’s a lot happening right now with media releases and related work, but I’ll send another update soon on when the victory party will be which we hope you all can make.

Also, while this is an incredible victory for family farmers standing up to GMOs, we do know there is a real chance Monsanto and their ilk could appeal this decision, so the battle is not really over yet.  Also, the Plaintiffs’ claims that the GMO ban constitutes a constitutional “taking” will now have to be litigated in the second phase of the case, so we hope you will join us in celebrating, but with the understanding that there is more left to do on the incredible team effort we’ve all been a part of.

Finally, we are still working to raise funds to pay off our legal expenses to date, so yes… you can still donate to the cause through our website.

Thanks again for your support!

Congratulations again for your work,

Elise Higley, Director Our Family Farms Coalition