House Rules panel to take up bill to limit GM restrictions
By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- Opposing forces are stepping up their lobbying efforts focused on a bill that would preempt counties or other local governments from imposing restrictions on agricultural production.
Opponents of Senate Bill 633 showed up at the Capitol bearing signs denouncing the bill July 1, while agricultural trade groups Oregonians for Food and Shelter and the Oregon Farm Bureau urged their members to show support for the bill.
The House Rules Committee pulled it from Monday's agenda.
SB633 has languished in House Rules since House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, assigned it to the committee on May 18.
The Senate passed SB633 on May 1 by a vote of 17-12.
The bill is one of a handful still alive in the waning days of the 2013 legislative session. It would prohibit counties or other government bodies below the state level from imposing restrictions on the production of agricultural products, including genetically modified crops.
A proposed amendment to the bill would exempt Jackson County from the preemption. Citizens in Jackson County have collected enough signatures to place a ban on the production of genetically modified crops on the May 2014 ballot.
Protesters against the bill, Paul Spindel and Zuwena Belt, both from the Portland area, said they heard about the bill and the protest on Facebook.