SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House has approved a bill banning canola fields in the Willamette Valley for five years.
The bill approved Tuesday would undo a state Department of Agriculture rule that allowed limited canola production. It goes to the Senate.
Farmers growing organic vegetable seeds have fought efforts to introduce canola to the valley, fearing new pests and diseases. They're also concerned that genetically modified canola plants would pollinate vegetable plants and diminish the value of their seeds.
Some farmers growing grass seed want to use canola as a rotation crop, and oil processors want to press the seeds for use in renewable fuels.
Critics of the bill say the Legislature shouldn't be involved.
The bill would require Oregon State University to further study whether canola and vegetable-seed fields can co-exist.