CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University says a Benton County ballot measure that seeks to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops in the county could hurt university research projects.
The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports university officials fear the measure could impact a host of non-food university projects that use genetic engineering techniques or GMOs.
Projects include testing on transgenic mice to discover tumor-suppressing therapy or genetically engineering poplar trees to make them tolerant to herbicides or unable to cross-pollinate.
But backers of Measure 2-89, the Benton County Local Food System Ordinance, say the ordinance is limited to food crops. Its goal: to protect farmers from GMO contamination and keep corporations that sell GMO seeds from taking over the county’s agricultural base.
Voters will get a say on the measure on May 19.