Support a GMO-Free Humboldt—Humboldt County’s Measure P
Locally Delicious supports local farmers and local food production. Measure P will make the cultivation of GMO [Genetically Modified] crops a nuisance in Humboldt County as it is in Mendocino, Trinity, Marin and Santa Cruz Counties. Josephine and Jefferson Counties in Oregon have recently passed similar ordinances.
Why is a GMO-Free Humboldt County important if soybeans, canola and sugar beets are not currently grown here? Certain crops, such as corn, are very important to Humboldt County farmers. Understanding the difference between conventional hybrid corn and GMO Bt corn is crucial. Humans have been breeding plants for centuries, using simple crossbreeding techniques that also can be found in nature. On the other hand, GMO technology is a mere quarter of a century old and cannot occur naturally. For example, GMO Bt corn is a patented plant with Bacillus thuringiensis [Bt] genetic material inserted into its DNA in a laboratory under conditions. This cannot and does not occur in nature. This gene must be inserted, along with additional genetic material including a “promoter sequence” which causes the gene to express itself in a certain way in the new plant, such as to allow herbicide or antibiotic tolerance. A marker gene ensures that the GMO plant can be identified. This is important for the proprietary aspect—who “owns” the crop.
Farmers know that all corn pollen can travel a long way to pollinate neighboring corn, giving the seed produced by GMO pollen those GMO proprietary traits. Seed from corn with proprietary traits is not legal to save because it does not belong to the farmer, but to the company that patented the trait.