Oregon Farmers Support Labeling
The claim that labeling genetically engineered goods will hurt farmers is a common claim made by anti-labeling opponents, but it is flat out false.
In fact, many farmers support labeling genetically engineered food because they stand by the food they grow and it provides a clear way for farmers who choose to not grow genetically engineered crops to differentiate their product. Labeling helps farmers by ensuring that Oregonians can legitimately ‘vote with their dollars’ for the farmers and their traditional crops versus out of state chemical companies who make genetically engineered crops. In May, voters in two rural Oregon farm counties – Jackson and Josephine County – overwhelmingly passed bans on genetically engineered crops because of genetically engineered crops can contaminate neighboring farms. These bans were supported by hundreds of local farmers, granges and restaurants, and demonstrate that many farmers understand that they are being harmed by the spread of genetically engineered crops.
Moreover, our initiative includes specific protections that guarantee that farmers cannot be sued under this measure, full stop (see section 6); they are liable only under existing perjury laws if they grow and sell a genetically engineered crop without disclosing that to a buyer. They are also not liable or responsible if their fields are inadvertently contaminated. This measure is carefully written to protect farmers from harm and enhance their ability to appropriately market their products, all while ensuring Oregonians have a right to know what’s in the food they eat.