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GMO bills get hearings in Oregon Legislature

The controversy over genetically modified organisms is back in the spotlight at the Capitol.

Legislative committees held public hearings Thursday to discuss two new bills.

Farm advocates say they’re designed to protect family farmers from genetically engineered crops.

One bill would hold GMO companies accountable for contaminating traditional crops.

The other bill allows local governments to adopt their own laws to protect farmers from unregulated GMO companies, reversing a law banning local governments from regulating crops or seeds.

Opponents of that bill – House Bill 2469 – like the Oregon Seed Association, say the proposal would create a patchwork of regulation. They say that would mean farmers who own land in different counties and cities or have land that spans across city and county borders would have difficulty complying with the law.

Additionally, the association says the crops are closely monitored and pose no risk to humans or nearby crops.

The bills:

Watch public hearing on HB 2469:


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