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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
County of Humboldt Anti-GMO Initiative Ordinance
19137 / 35.10% Yes votes ...... 35384 / 64.90% No votes
Index of all Measures
Results as of Nov 2 9:35pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (139/139)|
70.2% Voter Turnout (54521/84924)
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall the Humboldt County ordinance titled "Ordinance Prohibiting Growing of Genetically Modified Organisms" be approved?
This measure seeks voter approval for the adoption of a Humboldt County ordinance intended to prohibit the propagation, cultivation, raising or growing of genetically modified organisms in Humboldt County. The expressed purpose of the ordinance is to protect the county's agriculture, environment, economy, and private property from genetic pollution by genetically modified organisms. "Genetically modified organisms" is defined as "specific organisms whose native intrinsic DNA has been intentionally altered or amended with non species specific DNA." It does not include organisms created by traditional breeding or hybridization or microorganisms created by moving genes or gene segments between unrelated bacteria. The ordinance also defines the terms "DNA," "organism" and "Agricultural Commissioner."
The ordinance would make it unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to propagate, cultivate, raise or grow genetically modified organisms in Humboldt County. Primary enforcement responsibility is placed upon the Agricultural Commissioner of Humboldt County, who would be required to notify any person that may be in violation of the ordinance that the organisms are subject to confiscation and destruction. Such person would have five days to respond to such notification with evidence that such organisms are not in violation. The Agricultural Commissioner would consider the evidence presented and any other relevant evidence, and make a determination as soon as possible, but at least before any genetic pollution may occur.
Upon a determination that a violation exists, the Agricultural Commissioner shall confiscate and destroy any such organisms before any genetic pollution may occur. In addition to confiscation and destruction of any organisms found to be in violation, a monetary penalty and/or imprisonment shall be imposed, taking into account the amount of damage, any potential damage and the willfulness of the person, firm or corporation.
This measure requires the approval of a simple majority of the qualified voters.
A YES vote is a vote in favor of adoption of the proposed ordinance.
A NO vote is a vote against the adoption of the proposed ordinance.
|Arguments For Measure M||Arguments Against Measure M|
|Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals (including viruses and bacteria) which have been created with recombinant DNA technology in a laboratory environment. This technology differs fundamentally from traditional breeding in that it forces the exchange of genes across species barriers--a process that does not occur in nature. For example, genetic engineers have inserted viral and fish genes into tomatoes, spider genes into goats, jellyfish and chicken genes into potatoes, and even human genes into rice.
Measure M: YES for Our Economy!
The Humboldt Grow GMO-free initiative will promote economic growth, public health and environmental protection.
Measure M: YES for Farms and Farmers!
Measure M will protect local GMO-free farms from cross-pollen contamination by GMO crops, creating a "safe zone" for farmers who choose to grow GMO-free. We will strengthen our agricultural economy by attracting and supporting farmers, especially seed producers, who seek the opportunity to grow crops with value added for the expanding global and domestic GMO-free agricultural markets.
GMO crops have been developed without adequate safety testing or other controls. GMO corn, soy, cotton and canola, for example, have been altered to withstand larger doses of herbicides or to produce insecticides from within. Foods derived from these crops do not require labeling and are present in 70-80% of supermarket products. This Measure will ensure that we encourage traditional farming practices and agricultural products that are derived from such practices, protecting both the environment and our residents.
Measure M is a volunteer-based citizens' initiative brought forward by local people from all walks of life. Some of your friends and neighbors supporting this initiative are: Eureka Natural Foods, North Coast Growers Association, Vinatura Winery and John LaBoyteaux, row crop farmer.
Yes on Measure M!
s/ Michael Gann, Farmer
Farmers choose biotech to lessen their footprint on the environment. The environmental benefits of biotech crops may substantially reduce traditional pesticide use and improve soil conservation practices. Furthermore, this technology has already yielded significant advances in the battle against diabetes, Parkinson=s, AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Measure M could deny citizens future life saving techniques!
Measure M is added regulation proposed by Alocal people from all walks of life@, a law that will cost our local government and tie up our courts in litigation. Measure M is not good for the economy, not good for our local farmers and not necessary in Humboldt County. Vote NO!
s/ Gene Senestraro, Dairyman
|This ordinance Undermines Humboldt County Farmers: This ordinance makes it illegal to grow genetically modified corn and turns farmers into felons! This ordinance takes valuable tools out of Humboldt County farmers' toolboxes, putting them at an economic disadvantage. Many genetically modified organisms (also known as biotech organisms or more specifically, crops) have enabled farmers to reduce pesticide and herbicide use and make fewer trips into the field, which means less cost for inputs and fuel and less impact on the environment. Should Humboldt Farmers go to jail for trying to utilize these benefits?
This Ordinance is Unnecessary: Biotech crops already undergo more than 50 studies over 6 - 10 years before they can be commercialized. The U. S. Food & Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture all review biotech organisms to ensure they are safe to grow, safe to eat and safe for the environment. The Federal Government requires all these studies and approvals so local governments don't have to.
Leading medical and scientific organizations also have declared their confidence in the safety of biotech foods including the American Medical Association, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization.
This Ordinance is Unscientific: Plants are not promiscuous. In over two decades of availability of biotech foods, there is absolutely no credible, scientific evidence of adverse effects of human or environmental health. Additional, all available evidence to date shows that foods from biotech crops are as safe as foods from non-biotech crops. Let sound science, not fear guide your vote.
A Biotech Ban is not in the best interest of the people or for the future of Humboldt County Agriculture. This initiative calls for the county Ag Commissioner to enforce the prohibition. With the current fiscal status of our county and state, this un-funded mandate will increase the financial burden on all or our pocketbooks.
The undersigned LOCAL agriculture producers urge you to NOTE NO on this ordinance. Signed:
s/ Gene Senestraro, Dairyman
The claim that U.S. regulatory agencies are able to assure that GMO crops are "safe to grow, safe to eat, and safe for the environment" is quickly refuted. In 2000, the StarLink corn scandal triggered an F.D.A. recall of hundreds of U.S. corn-based products and a shutdown of export markets to tainted American corn worldwide. Severe allergic reactions by consumers were reported to numerous health agencies, including Centers for Disease Control. Pollen drift from StarLink wreaked environmental havoc on neighboring cornfields.
Katrina Frey of Mendocino's Frey Vineyards stated during the Measure H campaign, "Genetic engineering is not being regulated by our state and federal governments, and recent reports indicate that the co-existence of growing GE and organic crops is impossible".
If government and industry do not follow the international precautionary principle, consumers, farmers and the environment will continue at risk.
Vote Yes on Measure M to create a GMO-free zone which already includes Trinity and Mendocino.
Info and links at http://www.growgmofree.org.
s/ John Gagne, Produce Manager, Eureka Natural Foods
|Full Text of Measure M|
|COUNTY ORDINANCE PROHIBITING GROWING OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS
Section 1. Finding. The people of Humboldt County wish to protect the county's agriculture, environment, economy, and private property from genetic pollution by genetically modified organisms.
Section 2. Prohibition. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow genetically modified organisms in Humboldt County.
Section 3. Definitions.
(a) Genetically modified organisms means specific organisms whose native intrinsic DNA has been intentionally altered or amended with non species specific DNA. For purposes of this ordinance, genetic modification does not include organisms created by traditional breeding or hybridization, or to microorganisms created by moving genes or gene segments between unrelated bacteria.
(b) DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid means a complex protein that is present in every cell of an organism and is the `blueprint' for the organism's development.
(c) Organism means any living thing.
(d) Agricultural Commissioner means the Agricultural Commissioner of Humboldt County.
Section 4. Penalties.
(a) The Agricultural Commissioner shall notify any person, firm, or corporation that may be in violation of Section 2 of this Ordinance, that any organisms in violation of this Ordinance are subject to confiscation and destruction.
(b) Any person, firm, or corporation that receives notification under subparagraph (a) shall have five (5) days to respond to such notification with evidence that such organisms are not in violation of this Ordinance.
(c) Upon receipt of any evidence under paragraph (b), the Agricultural Commissioner shall consider such evidence and any other evidence that is presented or which is relevant to a determination of such violation. The Agricultural Commissioner shall make such determination as soon as possible, but at least before any genetic pollution may occur.
(d) Upon making a determination that a violation of this Ordinance exists, the Agricultural Commissioner shall cause to be confiscated and destroyed any such organisms that are in violation of this Ordinance before any genetic pollution may occur.
(e) If the Agricultural Commissioner determines there has been a violation of this Ordinance, in addition to confiscation and destruction of any organisms that are found to be in violation, the Agricultural Commissioner shall impose a monetary penalty and/or imprisonment on the person, firm, or corporation responsible for the violation, taking into account the amount of damage, any potential damage, and the willfulness of the person, firm, or corporation.