Local Food Ordinance One Step Closer to Lane County Ballot

Oct 2, 2013

A group called "Support Local Food Rights" is one step closer to placing a measure on the November 2014 ballot in Lane County. Their initiative would restrict Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, from being planted in the county.

Local produce at the Lane County Farmers Market.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The group's original ballot measure for its "Local Food System Ordinance" was rejected by the County Clerk because it addressed more than one subject.
Kneeland: "We're very excited that we've worked in cooperation with the county to submit an initiative that has been approved for the single subject rule."

Ann Kneeland is with Support Local Food Rights. The group re-submitted its measure-- and got approval from the County Clerk. Once they have a ballot title, they can begin collecting 11 thousand signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. There's a bill in Salem which bars local communities from restricting GMOs. Kneeland blames corporate food producers.

Kneeland: "And so to us it's an additional poke in the eye to local people and our rights to participate in our democratic system."
Kneeland says if that bill passes in the legislature and her local Food System Ordinance is approved by voters, there may be a court battle in the future.