Good news today from Oregon: If this new bill passes – and it stands a fighting chance – farmers would actually be able to sue Monsanto and other GMO corporations if those crops are found on their land.
House Bill 2739 is currently under consideration in the Oregon House of Representatives. As its summary states, it “Allows cause of action against patent holder for genetically engineered organism present on land without permission of owner or lawful occupant.”
It would also mark a huge step forward, as in other states Monsanto and other GMO corporations can actually sue landowners – even if those farmers didn’t plant GMO seed – if GMO plants are found on their property.
Sandra Bishop of the Our Family Farms Coalition, which supports HB 2739, spoke to the East Oregonian website saying, “This is not a wild legal grab. We will not be compensated for our angst. We will only be compensated for provable legal damages.”
For years Monsanto bullied farmers when their GMO seeds ended up on the farmers’ land, and farmers have been sued when unauthorized GMO crops show up in their fields. This bill, if passed, would give power back to landowners who want to continue to have GMO-free farms.
And this isn’t the only bill addressing the use of GMOs in Oregon. House Bill 2469, if passed, would allow local governments to restrict their usage altogether. Wouldn’t that be something?
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