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Mistrust between biotech firms, other farmers may thwart Oregon hopes of GMO mapping

In this photo taken June 6, 2014, Greg Loberg, a manager at the West Coast Beet Seed Company, poses for a photo inside the company headquarters in Salem, Ore. The company, which contracts farmers to grow genetically engineered sugar beets for seed, participates in a voluntary mapping effort in northwestern Oregon. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

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In this photo taken June 6, 2014, Greg Loberg, a manager at the West Coast Beet Seed Company, poses for a photo inside the company headquarters in Salem, Ore. The company, which contracts farmers to grow genetically engineered sugar beets for seed, participates in a voluntary mapping effort in northwestern Oregon. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon is looking into mapping GMO field locations across the state after the governor ordered it last fall, but the process faces many challenges.

The move was spurred by several cases of genetic contamination in the region that rendered non-engineered crops unsellable on the export market.

If the mapping goes ahead, Oregon would be the first state to mandate measures for coexistence between modified and non-modified crops.

Biotech companies and farmers who plant GMO crops say they already coexist and that mapping could lead to crop sabotage.

Organic farmers and others say a mandatory mapping system could increase transparency and help pinpoint the cause and location of genetic mixing.

Oregon regulators say they currently don't have the authority to map GMO crops, but the legislature could grant them the option.

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