Monsanto and five other top agrochemical companies have donated a combined $455,000 to defeat an Oregon county ballot initiative that would restrict the growth of genetically-modified crops in area farms.
The internationally-powerful “Big Six” chemical companies are flooding the Measure 15-119 ballot campaign in Jackson County, Oregon with lucrative donations that have helped opponents of the measure amass an eight-to-one spending advantage, according to state figures.
Monsanto ($183,294), DuPont Pioneer ($129,647), Syngenta ($75,000), Bayer ($22,353), BASF ($22,353), and Dow AgroSciences ($22,353) have donated a combined $455,000 to Good Neighbor Farmers, the political action committee fighting Measure 15-119, which county voters will consider on the May 20 ballot.
“This is a staggering amount of money for a local ordinance,” said Center for Food Safety senior attorney George Kimbrell. “For every vote they might get, Monsanto and its pals could afford to take each voter out for a fancy steak dinner.”
Overall, Good Neighbor Farmers has $556,000 cash on hand, according to the Oregon Secretary of State.
The Center for Food Safety reported that, all in all, opponents of the measure have a total of $799,000.
Measure 15-119 “would ban any person from propagating, cultivating, raising or growing ‘genetically-engineered’(defined) plants in Jackson County.”
Kimbrell’s group says that even before the latest contribution avalanche from the “Big Six,” about 95 percent of donations in the campaign had come from outside Jackson County.
“It goes to prove just how much money is coming from outside of our county,” Elise Higley, director of Our Family Farms Coalition, told The Oregonian. “The general reaction is that people are really angry that outsiders are pouring this much money into a county measure.” …