Oregon Passes Monsanto Protection Act

This week, Oregon passed SB 633, known by many as the Monsanto Protection Act, in a special legislative session.

The act would prevent local governments from enacting or enforcing any measures which regulate agricultural, flower, nursery and vegetable seeds or their products.  Essentially, it would prevent counties and municipalities from banning GMO crops.  The Oregon Farm Bureau claims that this is because it does not want local governments to be able to elevate some farming practices over others.

The effect of the bill, however, is the elevation of GMO farming over regular farming and organic farming.  Cross pollination of GMO crops to organic crops can lead to contamination of both produce and seeds, leading to massive monetary losses for organic companies and family farms, as well as unreliable organic produce for consumers.  Oregon is the country's fifth highest organic producer, and is home to some of the country's main organic seed companies.


Local governments should be able to protect their constituents from this economic impact, product contamination and, as many believe, health risk.  The Monsanto Protection Act would infringe on the rights of local governments and their constituents.  GMO crops shouldn't be banned nationally, or even on the state level, but food activists believe that an organic community seeking to prevent Monsanto or another biotech company from moving in and damaging their crops should have this right.

This is made even more important in light of an appeals court ruling last June.  Monsanto had filed 144 patent infringement lawsuits against organic farmers between 1997 and 2010.  It claimed that the farmers had used its seed without paying the required royalties, while the farmers said that their fields were inadvertently contaminated without their knowledge.  Monsanto should probably have paid damages to those farmers, but instead, it sued them for patent infringement and won.

The farmers appealed their case to the Supreme Court in September.  Also in September, the federal "Farmer Assurance Provision," also referred to as a "Monsanto Protection Act," expired and was not renewed.  The provision – attached to the March 28 emergency spending bill – prevented the government from halting the sale and planting of GMO seeds while the USDA was in the process of reviewing their safety.  It also, however, offered Monsanto immunity from federal courts with regards to those very experimental crops.

Oregon's Monsanto Protection Act is not only the latest example of government protection of biotech corporations at the expense of small-scale farmers and individuals.  It also connects with other legal issues and legislation to take away the ability of organic farmers to oppose the company.

The issue of Monsanto is not an illustration of the problems with free markets, it's an illustration of the problems which arise when corporations and government are too closely connected.

Ben Swann questioned this close connection last week stating, "Monsanto's influence over food supply is troubling. Their ability to seemingly prevent GMO labeling is also troubling. Their connections with people like Mike Taylor who have the ability to control what does and does not show up on our families' tables, sure smells like crony capitalism." See article here.

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  • servant1jkb

    WHY are ALL the Progressive Liberal Dem's so hard set upon destroying this economy and killing this nations people! Population Control?
    Please know this PLD's that there SHALL be a final accounting! And a asbestos suit, even with air-conditioning will avail you naught!

    Wake -up and follow the the path Christ set before all.


    If writer Joshua Cook were around in 1905, he undoubtedly would have demanded the banning of all automobiles, those recently developed "horseless carriages" that drive at highly dangerous speeds, sometimes even more than 15 miles per hour!

  • byronmullet

    What we have is a billion dollar bio-tech, frankenstein like giant, foisting their food experiment's, (it's too late when people realize the irreversible damage) in the name of "progress" on unsuspecting consumers. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE? To actually, sue organic farmers for using their seeds because of cross pollination? It's like someone stepping on your shoe, then suing you for wearing the bottom of their shoe out prematurely and or causing them to trip and fall on their face. On top of that, their former employees, appointed by bankrolled/election contributions, acting as supposed "independent" heads of USDA and FDA, refuse to label their GMO food experiment's, so us consumers can make INFORMED decisions to avoid them! I can't tell you how angry this makes me. It is a total end run around our rights to know what we put on and in our own body's and public health and safety! There is nothing more personal than this! The long term health ramifications on unsuspecting family members, church members and neighbors, of this depraved un-American, policy are heart wrenching. One only has to go out in public and people watch, to see what it is doing to people's health! Or, to look at health statistics. This lack of fear and unwarranted faith in science, shows almost no respect for God, nature or America.

  • WASP

    Americans need to storm Monsanto's offices, research, production and storage facilities and burn them to the ground. These sociopaths are on the verge of destroying the natural flora of the whole world. Think nuclear armageddon was scary? Wait until you hear about the genetic one.

  • didntwanna

    Oregon, I am disappoint. I need to find a job in Washington and get out of this backwards assed wannabe progressive state. The only thing good about Oregon is the nature, and keeping the GMO risk at bay the last vestige of value Oregon had left. Shameful day to be an Oregonian, and here I thought I couldn't be more ashamed of being American.

  • ADRoberts

    The wind blows. Monsanto sues. And corrupt judges award Monsanto money. I think that after anarchy, that is the first company that should be abolished. Whatever good they do is offset many times over by the vicious greed.

  • justdooit

    The bees are not buzzing much anymore...THANKS...MONSANTO...you stupid A******S

    Anyone wonder who's on the Oregon Farm Bureau board? Gotta be a bunch of sick brain dead liberals...GOD...HELP US...

  • dangkids



  • snytz

    This is government intervention.

    • LittleRoot_48

      It's BeeOh's dream come true.

  • snytz

    terminater seed makes it impossible to grow crops from the seeds of the crop you have already grown.

    • LittleRoot_48

      That is the face of evil.

  • John Patriot

    Monsanto puts mom and pop farms out of business this way in all states. They drive by other farms with uncovered trucks loaded with their culled seeds and sue for infringements. Maybe a tit for tat law suite would solve the problem, or maybe their crops should be contaminated with foreign seeds so they could not sue local farmers. They are dirty with the consent and funding of the government and should be shut down as a monopoly.

    • LittleRoot_48

      It's funny how our government doesn't like monopolies unless, of course, their cronies ARE the monopoly.

  • Ray - Jesus is the Son of God.

    Alert: GMO oranges now under development; say goodbye to non-GMO orange juice:

  • Ray - Jesus is the Son of God.

    The FDA is pushing a bizarre new requirement that all "free-range" chickens must be imprisoned in cages from here forward. No more free-range!

    • suedeniem

      Had 'organic' chick'n last night. Can still taste the chemicals.Ugh!

    • LittleRoot_48

      Add the FDA to the list of "intrusive" government departments that should be DEFUNDED. My chickens will not be imprisoned in cages. The FDA can kiss my rebel grits. I can, however, think of many in DC who SHOULD be imprisoned.

  • Ray - Jesus is the Son of God.

    All regulatory GMO approvals in Brazil have been done illegally, says whistleblower:

  • Ray - Jesus is the Son of God.

    More proof that over government is killing men, women and children.

  • parlayer

    move to afganistan. deff organic there.

    • Chew

      Have not seen Mr.Natural for MANY years.

    • parlayer

      Thought I would slip under the Radar, "Just passing thru"