Boulder CO Bans GM Crops on County-Owned Land

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gmoIn November 2011, about 250 Boulder County residents attended a public meeting to discuss the planting of GM (genetically modified) crops on county-owned land. Their turnout, together with an anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) recommendation from the county's Food and Agriculture Policy Council, led county officials to vote for a phase out of genetically engineered crops on open space.

This is a powerful testimony to the influence residents can have on their local regulations when they stand together for a cause; you, too, can work toward enacting such a phase out in your area as well.

Boulder's Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee voted 5-4 in support of the Food and Agriculture Policy Council's recommendation to phase out the planting of GM crops on the county's open space.

Currently, about 16,000 acres of county-owned land are planted with genetically engineered corn; the new rule will mean these crops will be transitioned out in favor of traditional GMO-free farming practices.

The area has been a hot-spot for GMO debate since 2009, when local farmers wanted to plant genetically engineered sugar beets in the county.

Following public outcry, County commissioners delayed the farmers' request. Since then, a local survey showed that 56 percent of Boulder County residents supported a ban on GM crops, and now their voices have been heard. As reported by the Boulder Daily Camera, Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee member John Nibarger said:

"There's the voters' side of this, and there's the farmers' side of this ... I think we heard rather strongly ... (that a lot of voters) don't want to see GM crops."

The health effects of eating genetically engineered foods are largely unknown, but research to date suggests they may play a role in cancer, birth defects, lung damage, organ disruption, allergies, DNA damage and more.

A 2012 California Ballot Initiative is underway that would require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients. If California voters pass this ballot initiative, it will likely be the beginning of the end for genetically engineered food in the U.S.

Several organizations, including Mercola.com, the Organic Consumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology, and the Environmental Working Group, are working to generate a tipping point of consumer rejection to make GMOs a thing of the past.

Learn More at Food Freedom

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