GMO bill an affront

How ironic that Governor Kitzhaber wants a statewide ban on local control of agriculture during Eat Local Week in order to get PERS reform.

SB633 makes local initiatives like our Measure 15-119 illegal statewide. SB633 is an affront to Oregon's respected organic and natural food trade sector, which is a significant economic contributor to the state — experiencing double-digit growth most every year for the last decade. Oregon ranks fifth in the nation for its number of organic farms: As of 2010, there were more than 444 certified organic farms operating on more than 156,000 acres.

As the recent GE wheat contamination discovery in Eastern Oregon demonstrated, Oregon's farmers face serious economic losses when their products are rejected by consumers and major markets because of the threat of GE contamination.

Jackson County agriculture today is predominantly non-GMO and we should keep it that way. The alternative is to see Jackson County agricultural lands turned into a giant, corporate-controlled GMO seed farms with tenant sharecroppers forced to spray ever more dangerous pesticides to meet their contractual requirements.

Is that your vision for a healthy, safe place to live? If not, Vote Yes on Measure 15-119 in May 2014. — Brian Comnes, Ashland

Walden's wimpy career

Recently, our esteemed congressman, Greg "Wimpy" Walden, was given an opportunity to be quoted, and his remark was profound. In reference to a probable Obama veto, Walden said "...this administration doesn't have a lot of throw-weight up here."

The lack of throw-weight is a subject on which Walden is an expert because it precisely describes his entire political career. He has been in office for several terms, but he has brought no significant benefits to his District.

Like him or not, Obama will be in the history books for a very long time. Whereas Walden — well, one day he will leave office and immediately be forgotten. — Ron James, Jacksonville

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