PORTLAND -- Hundreds of people rallied in downtown Portland on Saturday, protesting genetically modified foods and the company Monsanto.
Organizers of Portland’s March Against Monsanto said they're trying to raise awareness about the dangers and damage that GMO foods and pesticides are doing to clean water, food and health.
They said pollinators have been decimated, citing an 81 percent decline in the monarch butterfly population, along with honey bee population numbers, which are at an all-time low.
On Tuesday, voters in Josephine and Jackson counties passed measures to ban GMO crops.
“All eyes around the country are on Oregon right now, because nobody thought we could do it, but we beat Monsanto,” said Susan Laarman of GMO-free Oregon. “We went up against the biggest, most powerful chemical companies in the world and we won and we're going to continue to win.”
Although Southern Oregon voters passed the ban, it may see opposition in court.
Last fall, Governor Kitzhaber signed a bill prohibiting local governments from regulating genetically engineered crops.
The vote in Josephine county violated that law. Jackson county had been given an exemption.
The governor has created a task force to study the issue.