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Oregon Communities Launch Campaigns to Establish Local Rights to Legislate on Agriculture and Environment

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The first communities in Oregon are launching CELDF-drafted Community Bills of Rights initiatives to establish their rights to sustainable farming and food production, and the right to be free of toxic pesticides.

Two of the county-wide ballot initiatives prohibit unsustainable corporate agriculture practices as a violation of rights. Benton and Lane Counties, facing genetically modified (GM) seeds that threaten their locally-based, sustainable food systems, partnered with CELDF to draft a Local Food System Bill of Rights to protect their communities. Today, Benton County is collecting signatures to qualify their rights-based initiative for the November 2014 ballot, and Lane County is filing to qualify for the May 2015 ballot.

A community rights effort has emerged in Josephine County, where residents are gathering signatures for their CELDF-drafted Freedom from Pesticides Bill of Rights for the November 2014 ballot. The initiative would protect the rights to public health and clean air, water, and soil, by prohibiting the most toxic pesticides currently in use by industrial forest and agriculture practices.