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Movement Against GMOs Gains Strength in California
(Beyond Pesticides, June 30, 2004) Humboldt County citizens may have the opportunity to rid their county of all genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by voting on a ban of all such products this November, according to the Eureka Reporter. The prospect arises thanks to the Humboldt Green Genes committee, which turned in a petition with over 7,000 signatures to the Humboldt County Elections Office for the November Ballot.

The petition will have to be checked over and then will hopefully be on the consent calendar of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, according to Humboldt County Elections Manager Lindsey McWilliams.

Mike Gann, co-chairman of the group, says the purpose of the Humboldt Green Genes is to protect the rights of people who do not want to eat genetically modified foods in Humboldt County. The group recently received the endorsement of the North Coast Growers Association and has contacted and hopes to receive the endorsement of Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee.

This petition was inspired by Measure H, a Mendocino country measure that banned GMOs. In a bold move this past March, Mendocino County, CA became the first county in the nation to ban the growing of genetically altered crops and animals. (See March 8, 2004 edition of Daily News) Measure H County Ordinance Prohibiting the Growing of Genetically Modified Organisms was passed by 56.6 percent of voters. In doing so, Mendocino County voters defeated the world's largest producers of genetically engineered food and seed, which pumped a record $621,000 into a county of 47,000 voters, according to proponents of the measure. In addition to Mendocino County's victory and other initiatives by counties in California, this movement is part of a coast-to-coast act of defiance against the corporate stranglehold of America's farmland, as farmers from California to Vermont, Maine and Hawaii and the Midwest band together to reject genetically altered crops.

Take Action: Protect our land and food from GE. Buy organic and lobby your supermarket to label GE food. Find out more about how GE affects health, the environment and the economy at Beyond Pesticides' Genetic Engineering Program Page.