Compliance » Big Win For Anti-GMO Farmers In Oregon

Big Win For Anti-GMO Farmers In Oregon

Spring with dandelion in the book

June 5, 2015

A federal judge in Oregon has partially dismissed a lawsuit by alfalfa farmers who want to overturn an ordinance that bans the use of genetically modified (GMO) seeds in in Jackson County. The plaintiff farmers argued that the anti-GMO law ran afoul of Oregon’s “Right to Farm Act,” but the judge said that although the Right to Farm Act might preclude a GMO ban on the basis of “a suburbanite’s sensitivities,” this case was different, because the plaintiff’s claim is that the GMO crops could cross-pollinate and taint their non-GMO crops. However, the judge’s ruling left intact the part of the plaintiff lawsuit that seeks $4.2 million in compensation from Jackson County as compensation for the forced removal of 300 acres of GMO alfalfa. “Nevertheless,” write Mintz Levin attorneys Mina Nasseri and Michelle Gillett, “the anti-GMO faction views the decision as a big win, and is gearing up to defend the decision before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upon plaintiffs’ likely appeal.” This decision, they add, although it addresses only a county-level ordinance, “could have broader effects, as so many GMO-related laws are facing similar challenges in states and counties across the country.”

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