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genetic engineering | sustainability

Benton County Community Rights Coalition: Asserting Local Control of Food System

Benton County Community Rights Coalition (BCCRC) is a non-profit in Oregon formed to educate citizens about their legal rights to local community governance. The group is currently aiming to gather the needed signatures to qualify its Sustainable Food System Ordinance for the May 2014 ballot.

It's been over a year now since a small group of organic and conventional farmers, along with food advocates, came together to confront the issue of GMOs in their county. During that time, the BCCRC has built a coalition of supporters, hosted numerous public presentations as well as a community rights workshop taught by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund Democracy School, and co-sponsored the Willamette Valley Farm and Food Rights Summit. [...]

The Sustainable Food System Ordinance of Benton County establishes citizens' rights to: a sustainable food system; seed heritage; and clean air, water, and soil for sustainable agriculture in Benton County. The ordinance also prohibits unsustainable practices - like the planting of GMO's - that would violate those rights.

The BCCRC believes that as free citizens, we must elevate our community's rights above the corporate "rights" and state preemptions that currently usurp our ability to decide the face of agriculture in our own community. The Coalition not only asserts its community's rights to a sustainable food system, but also asserts the inalienable rights of nature to exist, persist and flourish.
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