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Josephine County passes GMO ban, but roadblock remains

Josephine County has passed its ban of genetically modified crops even after the initiative election was pre-empted by the Oregon Legislature.

Southern Oregon’s mountainous Josephine County approved a home-grown ordinance banning genetically engineered plants in Tuesday’s election, but it may never get put on the books.

Oregon’s Legislature last year passed a bill, SB 863, making regulation of GMOs a matter of statewide concern, with Jackson County exempt because a local initiative had already qualified for the ballot. Any other local measures were pre-empted.

The preliminary ballot count on May 21 has the Josephine ban passing handily, 15,965 to 11,447.

County Counsel Steve Rich has said he expects a lawsuit challenging the Oregon law if the Josephine measure passed.

— Tam Moore



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