GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that overturned a 2014 voter-approved initiative banning genetically engineered crops in Josephine County.
The Grants Pass Daily Courier reported that the appeals court last week affirmed a decision by Circuit Court Judge Pat Wolke, who previously ruled that a 2013 state law forbidding local action against GMOs, short for genetically modified organisms, took precedence over the county’s subsequent ban.
Wolke’s ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by Oregon farmers Robert and Shelley White, who once grew GMO sugar beets for the Swiss corporation Syngenta.
Portland attorney John DiLorenzo Jr., who represented the Whites, says the appeals decision rendered the county’s ordinance unenforceable. In fact, the county never tried to enforce it and did not defend it in court.
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