Election

Oregon Counties Vote to Ban GMO Crops

May 21, 2014
An organic farmer in Oregon.
An organic farmer in Oregon, where two counties voted to ban cultivating genetically engineered crops, which organic farmers fear could cross-pollinate with some of their crops. AP/Jeff Barnard

Voters in two small Oregon counties on Tuesday approved controversial ballot measures to ban cultivation of genetically engineered crops within their boundaries, though one measure is vulnerable to legal challenge under a new state law.

The measure in Jackson County in southern Oregon, garnering "yes" votes from nearly 66 percent of voters there, has drawn national attention and more than $1 million in campaign funding to the community, which has just 117,650 registered voters.

The results are still unofficial and will likely not be certified for nearly three weeks, according to Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker.

The ban is supported by a coalition of more than 180 farmers and community members, who have been pushing for the vote on the issue for more than two years.

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