Local judge tosses Josephine County ban on GMO crops - KPTV - FOX 12

Local judge tosses Josephine County ban on GMO crops

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MEDFORD, OR (AP) -

A Josephine County judge has struck down a local ban on genetically engineered crops, pointing to a state law that prevents local anti-GMO rules.

Voters in two southern Oregon counties - Jackson and Josephine - approved anti-GMO ordinances in May 2014. The votes came seven months after state lawmakers approved a bill that prohibited local governments from regulating genetically engineered crops.

Lawmakers made an exception for Jackson County because its measure had already qualified for the ballot.

Opponents of GMOs in Josephine County went ahead with their own measure, saying they would let the courts decide if the vote is valid.

County Counsel Wally Hicks told the Mail Tribune he was not surprised by Judge Pat Wolke's decision. Hicks said the opinion relied strongly on a previous Oregon Supreme Court ruling that state law pre-empts local law when they are incompatible.

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