Voters in two Oregon counties have approved ballot measures to ban the cultivation of genetically engineered crops within their borders. On May 20, the Jackson County initiative passed with 66 percent of the vote, and the Josephine County initiative passed with 58 percent of the vote. The Jackson County measure requires “affected persons to harvest, destroy or remove all genetically engineered plants within 12 months of the enactment of the ordinance.” The Josephine County measure “would allow confiscation and destruction of plants that have been genetically altered if contamination was occurring.” Supporters of the measures say they will keep crops free from contamination by genetically engineered crops. The Josephine County ban is likely to be challenged in court because of a 2013 law that prohibits local governments from regulating genetically engineered crops. The Jackson County measure was exempted because it had already qualified for the ballot before the state legislation passed. The Center for Food Safety, which supports the bans, reports that GE crops are also banned in California’s Santa Cruz County, Trinity County, Marin County and Mendocino County, Washington’s San Juan County, and a number of cities.  Hawaii’s Big Island and Oahu have banned GE taro and coffee.

  • common sense

    Apricot cultivars are most often grafted onto plum or peach rootstocks. The scion from an existing apricot plant provides the fruit characteristics, such as flavour and size, but the rootstock provides the growth characteristics of the plant.

    Cultivators have created what is known as a “black apricot” or “purple apricot”, (Prunus dasycarpa), a hybrid of an apricot and the cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera). Other apricot–plum hybrids are variously called plumcots, apriplums, pluots, or apriums.
    I guess the voters in Jackson and Josephine counties and the Center for Food safety won’t be eating apricots either.

    • Well, I suppose your comment would have meaning if it weren’t for the fact that the ordinances provide a rigorous definition for “genetic engineering” that would preclude the process you described.