The GMO battle comes to Ashland

John Yunker

Playwright, author of the environmental novel The Tourist Trail and co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

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Rogue Valley

Ashland, Oregon, is located at a the southern end of the Rogue Valley, which is a long but narrow stretch of land. As such, small family farms dominate the region, which has resulted in vibrant farmers’ markets and plenty of truly local food (and wine).

Because this valley is so small, genetically modified crops endanger the existing organic crops because wind carries GMO pollen or seed onto neighboring organic farms.

But given that there is such limited supply of land in this region, you’d think the large agri-companies wouldn’t even bother to compete with the organic farms.

You would think.

But that hasn’t stopped the likes of Monsanto, BASF, Dupont, Syngenta, and other multinationals from spending more than $450,000 to defeat a proposal (Measure 15-119) that bans GMO crops in this small slice of the world. Monsanto alone contributed $183,294 to the cause.

OFFCVoteYeslogo(yellow)

Needless to say, I’ll be voting in favor of Measure 15-119 next month.

I have no idea if GMO crops are bad for your health. But I’m quite certain that spraying Roundup on crops is horrible for our entire ecosystem. I don’t think it’s mere coincidence that bee populations are collapsing as GMO crops spread. I also don’t believe that farmers should be required to “license” seeds for one-time use.

Right now, these corporations are running ads to scare people into thinking we’ll be less safe if this measure passes — as if our police departments will somehow be overwhelmed by GMO enforcement to go after burglars. The hysterical tone of the pro-GMO ads leads me to suspect that there is real fear that this measure will pass.

I hope it does. And if you’re in Jackson County, I hope you vote YES next month.

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Playwright, author of the environmental novel The Tourist Trail and co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

Latest posts by John Yunker (see all)