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Center for Food Safety Statement on the Oregon State Court of Appeals Decision to Stay Planting of GE Canola in the Willamette Valley

August 16th, 2012
Center for Food Safety

The Center for Food Safety (‘The Center’) is pleased to announce that the legal action filed yesterday at the State of Oregon’s Court of Appeals requesting an immediate stay on illegal planting of genetically engineered (GE) canola in the Willamette Valley was successful. The Court found sufficient cause to order an immediate halt to planting subject to further judicial review.

The  lawsuit, filed jointly by the Center with Friends of Family Farmers (FoFF) and three Willamette Valley specialty seed producers, challenges the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) new temporary rule approving planting of GE canola on vital farming land, without a public comment period or hearing.  ODA’s improper sanctioning of planting of canola in the Willamette Valley poses a number of risks to Oregon’s farmers, citizens and agricultural economy, including potential irreparable destruction of the state’s small farms and thriving organic agriculture industry through GE cross-contamination, and the dissemination of resistant weeds, pests and diseases.

The Center and its partners are gratified by the Court’s preliminary decision and look forward to a fair and open review process that reasonably evaluates the purported value and legal basis for ODA’s proposed opening of 1.7 million acres in the Willamette Valley to industrial, GE canola growth earmarked for biofuel production at the expense of Oregon’s invaluable organics industry.

For more on the joint filing, go to Oregon Farmers File Suit to Prevent Destructive Canola Planting in Willamette Valley

To view the Court of Appeals of the State of Oregon's opinion, please click here.

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