Biodiversity, Biofuels, GMOs, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Kim Crieger Goodwin October 17, 2012
Have you heard about the problems with growing canola in seed-production regions? Did you know canola can harm the farmers that grow your food crops, as well as your own ability to garden and save seed? Have you given your testimony yet?
Right now, Western Oregon, U.S.A., is faced with a serious risk to our food and seed farmers. The Willamette Valley is one of the last five great seed-growing regions in the world and has been a protected zone since the late 1990s. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is trying to allow canola to be grown on thousands of acres in the Willamette Valley for biodiesel production. This goes directly against the scientific research done by our agricultural university, Oregon State University (OSU). Their findings clearly demonstrated that canola would be harmful to our vegetable seed, clover seed and fresh market and organic farmers.
An unprecedented coalition of farmers is against this change, have told the ODA of the economic harms they face, and have supported expensive legal action that stopped planting of canola this fall. However, we’re not in the clear yet. Our farmers need your help.
On Thursday, the ODA announced that they were extending the public comment period to November 2nd. It appears the ODA wants to gain more testimonies in favor of canola. At the September public hearing, only seven people testified pro-canola, versus 64 against. With that sort of opposition, why is canola even being entertained?
Organic farmers experience a double risk from the expansion of canola acreage. The ODA has provided no restriction on GM canola and cannot restrict it by law. Please help us preserve organic agriculture and make sure your voice is heard. If you live in Oregon or buy seed from Oregon farms, please give your testimony. Your farmer thanks you!
Linked below is our website with a ready-made testimony form:
www.farmandfoodrights.org/public-testimony-page.html — Choose consumer testimony, or farmer testimony, as appropriate.
More information on how growing canola is harmful to our farmers and on the situation in the Willamette Valley:
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