GENET archive


6-Regulation: Lake County (USA) supervisors rejected GE crop ban proposals

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Proposals to ban GMOs rejected
SOURCE: The Press Democrat, USA, by Glenda Anderson
DATE:   12 Oct 2005

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Proposals to ban GMOs rejected
Supervisors voted against moratorium on all county crops

Lake County supervisors on Tuesday rejected two proposals that would have
temporarily banned genetically modified crops, effectively moving the
controversial issue to the initiative process.

"I think there's tremendous support for a ballot measure," said Philip
Murphy, a Lake County walnut and pear farmer who proposed one of the bans.

Mendocino County's 2004 ground-breaking anti-GMO measure was the product
of a ballot initiative. Sonoma County voters will decide a similar
measure Nov. 8.

Murphy said there currently is no plan to start an anti-GMO initiative in
Lake County, but it's "a given" that such a proposal eventually will be

Murphy proposed a 30-month moratorium on genetically modified alfalfa but
Lake County supervisors voted 3-2 against the request Tuesday.

Supervisors subsequently dropped a second proposal that would have placed
a moratorium on all genetically modified crops in Lake County, noting it
lacked support.

However, a proposal with a shorter ban may resurface.

Supervisor Tony Farrington said he may ask the board to ban GMOs only
until voters can make a final determination.

The debate over genetically modified organisms in Lake County separates
those who trust federal regulators from those who don't.

Proponents of a moratorium say federal regulators approved GMOs prematurely.

Scientists don't know enough about GMOs to guarantee they won't
contaminate other plants and damage the environment in the long run, said
Upper Lake resident Paul Kolb.

"Once you let it loose on the environment, you can't control it," he said.

Opponents of anti-GMO measures say they don't want to stop scientific
progress, which they say has been largely positive.

"Genetic engineering is not always a bad thing," said Supervisor Ron
Brown. "There's a lot to gain from science."

Middletown resident Jane Gallagher said she trusts farmers to do what's best.

"Farmers should be able to have the ultimate choice," she said.


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