Major Progress! “GMO Free Zones” Popping Up Across the Country

By On January 8, 2016
A GMO Free Zone in Ireland. Photo via

A GMO Free Zone in Ireland. Photo via

A lot of people don’t realize just how bad it’s become, but Monsanto and other companies’ GMOs have made life incredibly difficult on organic farmers in the United States.

In order to avoid pollen drift from miles and miles away that can contaminate their crops (and even lead to lawsuits from Monsanto), organic and other non-GMO farmers need to pay thousands of dollars and jump through several different expensive hoops just to ensure their produce stays “clean.”

Aside from lawsuits, market rejection is another risk: and it’s literally been costing farmers billions of dollars because of surprising contamination-related incidents, as noted in this article from the Washington Post. In other countries where GMOs are banned or restricted, contamination usually means outright rejection for U.S. farmers.

But several different local areas in the United States are fighting back by pushing for, and eventually creating, GE-Free zones, which prohibit the growing of genetically engineered crops in special designated areas in order to combat this growing problem.

Jackson County, Oregon is the latest to join the club as a GE Free Zone, and it’s at least the eighth county in the United States to do so according to the Post article. Similar efforts are springing up across the country, which is leading to a whole new debate about organic vs. GMO that Monsanto didn’t see coming.

Already, the state of Oregon has passed an emergency bill barring other counties from passing similar ordinances, a questionable decision considering how health and eco-conscious residents of the state have become, and one that seems like a desperate attempt to preemptively stall the will of the people.

Of course GMO seed corporations argue that farmers have the right to grow their products as well.

But when these seeds are capable of contaminating other crops when grown in the open, is it really a right that should be afforded to farmers who are costing their organic neighbors huge amounts of money and forcing them to pay for costly “buffer zones” just to keep these unwanted crops and unwanted pollen off of their property?

This is a debate expected to rage on for years to come, and it’s just another hot button issue that will play itself out in court system as the movement continues.

For more on this story (a rarity considering the usual lackluster or pro-GMO biased coverage afforded to these important GMO-related issues in the mainstream media), you can check out the full Washington Post article by clicking here.

Nick Meyer writes for March Against Monsanto and the website