Trinity County, became only the second county in the nation to ban the growing of genetically engineered (GE) crops and animals.
By a vote of 3-1, Trinity County Supervisors elected to ban GE crops and animals in an effort to protect Trinity's local economy and environment.
The proposed ordinance is supported by a broad spectrum of Trinity residents, including people in commercial agricultural, businesses, home gardeners, nurseries, social workers, investment, computer and health professionals, housewives, students, church people, teachers, activists, government employees, store owners.
In contrast a proposed ballot initiative that would place a countywide ban on genetically modified plants, livestock and fish will not appear on the November ballot, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has decided.
On a split vote, supervisors rejected pleas by dozens of organic farmers and environmentalists to put their measure on the ballot for the upcoming presidential election.
"I have not seen any evidence that there is a problem in Sonoma County," Supervisor Mike Kerns says. "I don't see a sense of urgency to get this on the ballot."
The Sonoma group had until January to collect 29,000 signatures from Sonoma County voters to qualify for a special election that is expected to cost $500,000. Putting the initiative on the November ballot would cost between $50,000 and $92,000. Supervisors decided they had more urgent use for the money. California Farmer is preparing as special report on the GMO initiative status for the October magazine.
"The Trinity decision is in keeping with the tradition in Trinity County over 25 years of passing ordinances to protect the well being of its citizens," says Susan Bower, local farmer and ban proponent.
"Trinity's vote for a sustainable and sound agriculture economy is an important first step in reclaiming control of our food supply, "said Doug Mosel, GMO Free Mendocino coordinator and spokesperson for the BioDemocracy Alliance. "This sends a clear message that local, safe production is the responsibility of all."
Trinity County's decision reflects a growing movement across America to defend local agriculture, biodiversity and human health.
"BioDemocracy is spreading throughout the California and the United States," says Ryan Zinn, campaign director for the Organic Consumers Association and spokesperson for the BioDemocracy Alliance. "In light of the lack of regulation at both the federal and state agencies of these GMO crops, Trinity's Supervisors had the foresight to create a ban to protect their citizens."
Trinity County's ban goes into effect 30 days from its passage.