Support Local Food Rights Will Not Be Deterred by Legislature’s Blow to Democracy
by: Community Rights Lane County Posted on: October 08, 2013
Lane County’s Local Food System Ordinance Continues to Ballot Box
Despite the legislature’s passage of SB 863 (formerly SB633) on Tuesday, members of Support Local Food Rights maintain their resolve and will to put the Local Food System Ordinance of Lane County before the voters.
According to Ann Kneeland, attorney for Chief Petitioner Lynn Bowers: “The passage of SB 863 is a brazen example of corporate control over our government. SB 863 is a law written by corporations to advance corporate interests while taking away the people’s right to vote. We must understand this for the assault on our democracy that it is. To affirm our right to local self-government, the Local Food System Ordinance frontally challenges pre-emption and state and federal constitutional laws that elevate the rights of corporations over those of the people.”
The Local Food System Ordinance seeks to protect residents’ rights to local farm and food systems, seed heritage and a healthy environment to support agriculture. The ordinance also prohibits unsustainable corporate practices – like the use of GMO’s and seed patents – that violate these rights.
SB 863 authorizes the state to make all decisions regarding agricultural seed. This would mean local governments and its citizens would have no control over what is planted and grown in their communities. Since agriculture is an inherently local activity, uniformity of farming regulations does not benefit local farmers in diverse areas where growing conditions and practices vary. Uniform state regulation does, however, benefit agri-business corporations, which hold powerful influence over state policy and laws.
Support Local Food Rights remains vigilant to further interference with their effort to put this initiative before the people of Lane County. Oregonians for Food and Shelter, author of SB 633 with Board Members from the world’s largest biotech companies including Monsanto, DuPont and Sygenta, previously filed motions in an attempt to disrupt the citizen initiative process. With deep pockets and a record of trying to thwart the people’s will, these corporate giants are expected to continue to advance their interests over the democratic rights of local communities to determine their own well-being.
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