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Letter in Opposition to Measure -2-89

Last Modified: 05/03/15
First Published: 04/24/15
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Comments: 3 Views: 731
The Corvallis Chamber of Commerce urges voters to oppose Measure 2-89 on the May 19 ballot. It would restrict the use of genetically modified organisms in our county and creates restrictions on research, local farming, agricultural-seed development, and patent registration. 
The Chamber’s board carefully vetted the issue and agreed to oppose it because of its complex and poorly written language and its far-reaching negative impacts on the area’s economy.
Agriculture is a $100 million industry in Benton County, but under Measure 2-89 farmers would have to tear out their existing crops within 90 days of the measure’s passage and would receive little or no compensation for their economic losses.
The proposed law would ban critical research at Oregon State University related to treatments for horrific diseases and cancers, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and pancreactic cancer. It would also ban certain medical treatments, impact hundreds of jobs at OSU and area hospitals, and effect more than $18 million in grant funding.
Incredibly, the measure would extend human legal rights to trees, plants, seeds and/or dirt, and would cost Benton County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in compliance costs.
Simply put, Measure 2-89 is bad for our local economy, and, if approved, would send the message to the wider world that Benton County is a fringe place where serious business and important medical research are no longer practiced or encouraged. Please vote down Measure 2-89.
Kevin Dwyer, Executive Director, Corvallis Chamber of Commerce

Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:55 pm
Name: Vernon Huffman URL: Comment: The Chamber has been misinformed about the effects of 2-89. The judge ruled that the single issue of the initiative is protection of the local food system. Nothing outside that system can be impacted by the law.
Benton County exports seeds all over the world. If those seeds become contaminated by GMO pollen, they may be rejected by any of the 170 countries that signed the Cartagena Protocol. The immediate cost of one incident of tainted Oregon wheat cost $2.4 Million plus immeasurable damage to the Oregon brand. What cost will our economy incur when the state restrictions on canola expire in 2018?
The rights of nature are not currently protected here, but Benton Food Freedom didn't invent the concept. Thomas Paine spoke of Natural Rights. Over 150 communities have successfully held off polluting corporations by asserting the rights of nature and community rights in the way 2-89 does. Please join me in voting YES on 2-89.

Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:35 pm
Name: Benjamin Comment: Mr Huffman has made an argument that is much like Swiss cheese, lots of holes in it. More negatives than positives in this measure. People will wisely vote "no".

Sun May 03, 2015 12:54 pm
Name: Rob Comment: Mr. Huffman, I'm researching this issue and came across your post. You referenced a judge's ruling in your argument in favor of 2-89. Can you provide a link to this ruling. I'm confused how a judge would have ruled on 2-89 if it has yet to become law. Thanks.

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