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9-Misc: Colorado, US, group concerned about GMO releases



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TITLE:  Colorado group concerned about genetically modified organisms
SOURCE: University of  colorado via U-Wire
        edited and sent by Agnet, Canada
DATE:   October 24, 2001

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


COLORADO GROUP CONCERNED ABOUT GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS

BOULDER, Colo. -- Hinting at the possibility of a referendum initiative to 
ban genetically modified organisms (GMOs), a small group of local 
environmentalists in Colorado were cited as saying Monday they would be 
watching closely the county-appointed advisory committee charged with 
monitoring the use of GMOs on a small but growing percentage of county-
owned open space. The story says that the group calls itself Citizens 
Promoting a Healthy Environment. On Monday members spoke at the Boulder 
County (Colo.) Courthouse where county commissioners meet.

Ann Krohn Rick of Longmont, Colo., a member of the group, was quoted as 
saying, "We're here to advocate for greater citizen involvement in land-use 
decisions for public lands in Boulder County. Our concerns were brought to 
the (forefront) by the introduction of an untested, radical new technology -
- genetic engineering -- in agricultural crops. Perhaps we need to bring 
this issue to the ballot box in the future."

The 10-person group, consisting of several Ph.D.s with scientific and 
business agriculture experience, warned GMOs are difficult to control and 
monitor. They said GMOs lack enough research and risk-assessment for the 
public to make informed decisions about the crops, which are not required 
to be labeled.

The story adds that the county's newly formed GMO advisory committee, which 
met for the first time last month, is charged with providing direction to 
county officials on the use of GMOs on county lands. The county has cleared 
several kinds of GMOs for farming, but only two are in use -- Bt-corn and 
RoundUp-ready corn. Both are modified to be resistant to pesticides.

The city of Boulder has banned GMO production on its open space. Members of 
Citizens Promoting a Healthy Environment said GMOs could prove detrimental 
to the long-term economic health of the county's 23 licensed organic farms 
that plant crops on 854 acres.

An estimated 32 acres of organic farmland is dedicated to corn. John 
Martin, a senior math instructor at University of Colorado and the owner 
and operator of Stonebridge Community Farm, an organic farm, said 
contamination of organic crops grown in the county through free-flying 
pollen is a challenge to the livelihood of growers.



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