635 Capitol St NE

Salem, OR 97301-2532
Department of Agriculture
Oregon
John A. Kitzhaber, MD, Governor





}une Su, 2u14


The Bonoiable uoveinoi }ohn Kitzhabei
9uu Couit St. NE, Suite 2S4
Salem, 0R 97Su1

Beai uoveinoi Kitzhabei:

In iesponse to youi 0ctobei 1, 2u1S lettei to Senate Piesiuent Petei Couitney anu Bouse
Speakei Tina Kotek, the 0iegon Bepaitment of Agiicultuie (0BA) conuucteu a ieview of
oui existing authoiities to ueal with conflicts between genetically engineeieu (uE) anu
non-genetically engineeieu ciops. We conuucteu this ieview in consultation with legal
counsel. Following is a summaiy of the finuings fiom the ieview of oui iegulatoiy
authoiities.

The ieview founu that 0BA's cuiient iegulatoiy authoiities aie limiteu to uE ciops that
have not yet been ue-iegulateu by the 0SBA Animal Plant Bealth Inspection Seivice
(APBIS). 0nce a ciop has been ue-iegulateu by the feueial goveinment, the uepaitment no
longei has the statutoiy authoiity to iegulate that ciop solely baseu on its uE
chaiacteiistics. 0BA's existing authoiity lies in 0iegon Reviseu Statute S7u.4uS, which
allows the uepaitment to cieate contiol aieas to ueal with pests anu uisease. When 0SBA
APBIS ue-iegulates a uE ciop they specifically inuicate that the ciop is not a pest oi uisease
theiefoie 0BA uoes not have the ability to iegulate that feueially ue-iegulateu ciop unuei
oui pest anu uisease statutes.

0BA has auopteu one contiol aiea oiuei foi a feueially iegulateu uE ciop unuei this
authoiity. This contiol aiea is foi uE bentgiass giown foi fielu tiials in }effeison County.
The puipose of the contiol aiea is to pievent contamination of existing bentgiass giowing
aieas in the Willamette valley with iounu up ieauy bentgiass giown in fielu tiials. Theie
aie cuiiently no iounu up ieauy bentgiass fielu tiials being conuucteu in 0iegon.

0BA also has the authoiity to pioviue input anu monitoi tiials of APBIS-iegulateu
genetically engineeieu ciops uesigneu to "piouuce vaccines, uiugs, enzymes oi othei
meuicinal compounus," often iefeiieu to as biophaimaceutical ciops (0iegon Reviseu
Statute S61.7S8 to 74u). To uate, we have not ieceiveu notification of any
biophaimaceutical ciop tiials pioposeu in 0iegon.

0BA ieceives notifications fiom 0SBA-APBIS iegaiuing pioposeu iegulateu uE ciop tiials
in 0iegon. Notifications aie limiteu uue to APBIS iegulations to piotect confiuential
business infoimation. The notifications 0BA ieceives incluue infoimation such as the ciop,
the county, anu the phenotype (heibiciue-toleiant, insect-iesistant, etc). The notifications

2
uo not incluue the specific location of the ciop tiials. 0BA ieviews the notifications ielative
to state law, specifically the potential foi impoitation of pests anu uiseases uepenuing on
the oiigin of the expeiimental mateiial, anu pioviues comments to APBIS.

0BA uoes not cuiiently have the statutoiy authoiity to gathei the ciopping infoimation
that woulu be neeueu to map ciops that coulu cioss-pollinate, incluuing uE anu non-uE
vaiieties of the same ciop, oi closely ielateu non-uE ciops. State law uoes not iequiie
faimeis to iepoit ciopping infoimation to 0BA. In auuition, state law cuiiently uoes not
uistinguish between uE anu non-uE ciop vaiieties.

Although oui authoiities iegaiuing uE ciops aie extiemely limiteu, othei non-iegulatoiy 0BA
piogiams anu seivices may help ieuuce conflicts between uE anu non-uE ciops. We offei
iuentity-pieseiveu ceitification anu have the capability to conuuct testing of uE piesence as a
component of these ceitifications. In auuition, 0BA maiketing anu ceitification piogiams
suppoit local, oiganic, iuentity-pieseiveu anu sustainable agiicultuie thiough Specialty Ciop
Block uiants, Faim to School activities, maiketing assistance, anu a vaiiety of fee-foi seivice
inspections anu ceitifications.

I appieciateu the oppoitunity to piesent these finuings to the Task Foice on uenetically
Engineeieu Agiicultuie at its seconu meeting on Nay 12, 2u14. I believe the uialogue
occuiiing as pait of the Task Foice piocess has been veiy constiuctive anu look foiwaiu to
continueu engagement with the othei Task Foice membeis. I am committeu to woik with you,
legislative leaueiship, Task Foice membeis, anu othei stakeholueis to iuentify stiategies anu
next steps to auuiess these challenging issues.

Sinceiely,

Katy Coba, Biiectoi

cc: Richaiu Whitman, uoveinoi's Natuial Resouices 0ffice

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