Saturday, May 3, 2014

Grants Pass Daily Courier - GMO ban best option for JoCo (Daily Courier Endorsements)

Grants Pass Daily Courier - GMO ban best option for JoCo (Daily Courier Endorsements): "GMO ban best option for JoCo (Daily Courier"

Any reporter who has covered a murder trial knows that expert testimony can be contradictory. It is not uncommon for the prosecution to find experts who will testify that the evidence indicates the suspect is guilty, even as the defense brings in equally credentialed experts to testify that the exact opposite is true.

The debate over Measure 17-58, which would ban the cultivation of crops that contain genetically modified organisms, commonly referred to as GMOs, feels like the aforementioned courtroom. Those campaigning on both sides of the GMO issue — both in Josephine County and in Jackson County, where voters will pass judgment on a similar measure — have produced experts who insist their side of this often emotional debate is correct.

This editorial will not try to judge which side’s science is right or wrong — not that such a judgment would carry any weight with the true believers on either side of this issue. However, the Daily Courier’s editorial board does believe that passage of this measure is in the best interests of Josephine County.

Josephine County does not have much in the way of large-scale agriculture. In fact, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Josephine ranks 32nd among Oregon’s 36 counties in total farm and ranch product sales. Therefore, small-scale farmers are the backbone of the local agricultural economy, and Measure 17-58 is needed to protect these boutique farm operations.

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