Organic Consumers Association

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Farm Groups Celebrate as Oregon Senate Passes HB 2427 to Ban Canola Production in the Willamette Valley Until 2019

Today, the Oregon Senate passed a bill to ban commercial production of canola (rapeseed) until 2019 inside the 3 million acre Willamette Valley Protected District, one of the world’s pre-eminent vegetable seed producing regions.

HB 2427, which passed the Senate 18-12 after passing the Oregon House last week 37-22, rolls back a controversial new policy adopted by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) in February 2013 that would have allowed 25,000 acres of canola to be planted over the next decade in a region where the production of the plant for its seed has been banned since 2005.

“The Legislature has made a strong statement that we need to protect our valuable specialty seed industry in the Willamette Valley. The Oregon Department of Agriculture rushed too quickly to open up the Willamette Valley Protected District to canola, and the Legislature has established new safeguards to ensure that the specialty seed, organic and other agricultural industries are not harmed,” said Ivan Maluski, Policy Director for Friends of Family Farmers.

“We are gratified the Oregon legislature has overruled ODA’s unlawful action that would have allowed dangerous canola planting into the Willamette Valley.  This is a victory for Oregon’s farmers and environment,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety.
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