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Our Family Farms Coalition

February 6, 2015 - Federal Court Magistrate Mark Clarke today issued an 8-page Order granting the motion by Center for Food Safety (CFS), Our Family Farms Coalition (OFFC), Oshala Farm and Chris Hardy  to intervene as defendants in a pending lawsuit challenging Jackson County's Ordinance 635, which was approved by voters as Measure 15-119. The ordinance, passed in May 2014, creates a genetically engineered crop free zone to protect local farmers from transgenic contamination.
The decision means that CFS, OFFC, as well as Jackson County farmers Oshala Farm and Chris Hardy will be able to help Jackson County’s lawyers "vigorously defend the legality of protecting family farmers from genetically engineered crops in Jackson County." The Court found that “[CFS, OFFC, Oshala Farm and Chris Hardy] have alleged concrete agricultural and economic interests that will be just as impacted by this litigation as the interests claimed by the Plaintiffs in this case.” When defending those “concrete agricultural and economic interests” the coalition will be jointly represented by legal counsel from Center for Food Safety and Earthrise Law Center at Lewis and Clark Law School.
“Farmers in Jackson County growing traditional crops are being threatened by crops genetically engineered to survive heavy pesticides. Monsanto and the chemical giants have created a product they can't control. After the people expressed their will through the democratic process, they turned to the courts to protect their profits. They intimidate and bully with high-priced law firms, but we won't back down,” said Jackson County farmer and director of Our Family Farms Coalition, Elise Higley.
In May 2014, voters in Jackson County overwhelmingly approved measure 15-119 by a 66 percent to 34 percent margin. The bi-partisan victory came despite a wave of opposition funding from the chemical industry, topping out at nearly $1 million. These same biotechnology interests challenged the Ordinance in court.
“This is big win for family farmers. The court has correctly recognized local farmers' right to protect right to protect the ordinance, farmers that championed the ordinance and are directly threatened by the lawsuit. We're proud to stand with them and represent them,” said George Kimbrell, CFS’s senior attorney, based in Portland.
Tom Buchele, with the Earthrise Law Center, said, "This is a good start to the case, but its not really surprising given the compelling agricultural and economic interests that farmers growing traditional crops have in seeing the ban on genetically engineered crops upheld and legally enforced."
The hearing to argue the case is scheduled for May 26th.
NOTE: PLEASE  GOT TO  and if you can please donate to help with the LEGAL EXPENSES


From our friends at the Organic Consumer Association:

"H.R. 4432—the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) ACT—was introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) at the bidding of Monsanto, Big Food and the Koch Brothers.

At this very moment, Monsanto and Big Food are gunning to pass this law.

We need to stop this attack on the constitutional right of states to pass GMO labeling laws. That’s why OCA is planning a massive protest and media event in Washington D.C. Can you help organize a bus from your area? Moms Across America and groups from all over the nation are needed to work together and stop this law!

Here’s the scoop. Pompeo’s DARK ACT is up for a hearing on December 9 or 10 (the date hasn’t been finalized yet, but we need to start planning). OCA is working with activists in many

states, including New York, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland, to bus people in to Washington on the date of the hearing.

What will we do there? We will fill the hearing room and line the streets with consumers and citizens who will make it clear to Congress, the media and the Biotech Bullies and Junk Food Giants that we will not sit quietly by while Congress allows Monsanto to trample on our Democracy and poison our food without transparency or accountability.


If you can fill a bus from your area, in  New York, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland, OCA will pay the transportation. We are also organizing an organic lunch with speakers and the press, following the hearing.


I'm sure the new Congress would love to give the GMO corporations everything they want. The window that's open now for action at the state level is likely to close. But, there's time for more states to follow the lead of CT, ME, VT and hopefully OR, and act before Congress pulls the rug out from under us.




Alexis, OCA Political Director

SIGN UP NOW to rally a bus to DC!


Moms Across America


Please pass this email on to any friends from New York, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland!!



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