SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Legislature is considering a bill that would let farmers sue companies, such as Bayer and Syngenta, that hold patents on genetically engineered seeds if crops grown from those seeds contaminate other crops.
The Statesman Journal reports that contamination from genetically engineered crops can make organic and conventional crops unable to be sold. GE crops also can escape their fields and become a nuisance for other farmers that is hard to eradicate.
House Bill 2882 would allow landowners or tenants to seek three times actual economic damages if GE organisms, also called GMOs, are present on their land without permission.
It also would allow residents to sue the corporations if GE organisms are found on land owned or occupied by a public body in the area where they live.
The legislation is nearly identical to a bill considered in the 2017 Legislative session. That bill died in committee.