GMO settlement-important

Jackson County Farmers Reach Settlement on GMO Litigation; Other Jackson County Farmers May be Eligible to Join.

On December 22, 2015 two family farmers settled with Jackson County over the county’s ban on genetically engineered (GE) crops. The families had filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the county’s ban on GE crops violated Oregon’s right to farm laws and caused a taking of their property. Under the settlement, the county has agreed to allow certain producers of GE alfalfa to continue growing the crop for the life of the crop. While the Oregon Farm Bureau continues to believe that Jackson County’s ban on GE crops violates Oregon law, this settlement represents a clear path for family farmers to avoid destruction of their alfalfa crops and ensure they can continue to grow those crops through the lifetime of the crop.

What does this mean?

Under the settlement, if you planted roundup ready alfalfa (RRA) before June 6, 2014, you can continue growing that RRA for the life of the crop (up to 8 years). However, you must join the settlement prior to January 22, 2016. If you join the settlement, the County and the supporters of the GE crop ban will be prohibited from enforcing the GE crop ban against you for the life of your RRA (up to 8 years).

To join, you must disclose your name and field location to Kristin Asai (503-295-3085; kristinasai@markowitzherbold.com), the attorney representing Schulz Family Farms LLC, Jim Frink, and Marilyn Frink. Your identity will be protected, but your field location would be disclosed confidentially to the attorneys for Jackson County and the attorneys representing the other parties. Your field location will not be disclosed to the public. If you choose to join the settlement, the County and the other parties are prohibited from enforcing the GE crop ban against you relating to your RRA that was planted prior to June 2014.

Who is eligible?

Any farmer growing RRA in Jackson County who planted the RRA before June 6, 2014.

If I join, what must I do under the terms of the settlement?

You can continue to grow and cultivate any RRA that you have planted.
You must harvest your RRA at or before 10% bloom (unless weather or other circumstances prevent you from doing so).
You must monitor roadways for volunteer RRA at least once a quarter and destroy any RRA volunteers outside of the field.
You must contact Kristin Asai when you remove a field of RRA.

What can’t I do under the settlement?

Plant any new RRA or genetically engineered crops.

How do I join?

Contact Kristin Asai (503-295-3085; kristinasai@markowitzherbold.com) by January 22, 2016.

Who should I contact with questions?

If you have questions, please contact Kristin Asai, the attorney for Schulz Family Farms LLC, Jim Frink, and Marilyn Frink. Kristin Asai and Markowitz Herbold are not your attorneys, but can answer questions about the process. You are encouraged to contact your own attorney with any questions about the settlement.

If you have any questions of Farm Bureau, please contact Mary Anne Nash at maryanne@oregonfb.org

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