Another US county goes GM free / Anti-GM measure gains strong Co-op support in Humboldt County (4/8/2004)

1.Trinity County, California, bans GM crops and animals
2.Anti-GM measure gains strong Co-op support in Humboldt County

1.Trinity County, California, bans GM crops and animals

AUGUST 3, 2004
Organic Consumers Association
Ronnie Cummins, 218-226-4164

N FRANCISCO - August 3 - Today Trinity County, California became the second county in the nation to ban the production 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 has been supported by a broad spectrum of Trinity residents, including farmers, businesses, home gardeners, nurseries, social workers, students, church people, teachers, environmentalists, government employees, and investment, computer, and health professionals.

"Today's vote is in keeping with the tradition in Trinity County over 25 years of passing ordinances to protect the well being of its citizens," said 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 phase-out genetic engineering and to defend local agriculture, biodiversity and human health. Four other California counties will vote in November to ban genetically engineered crops (Marin, Butte, Humboldt, and San Luis Obispo), while activists in dozens of counties across the country are beginning to organize to create "GE Free" Zones.

"BioDemocracy is spreading throughout the California and the United States," said Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association, a national network of 500,000 organic consumers and spokesperson for the BioDemocracy Alliance. "In light of the lack of regulation at both the federal and state levels of these increasingly controversial GE crops, Trinity's Supervisors have taken an important step to protect their communities."

Trinity County's ban goes into effect 30 days from its passage.

Contact information for Trinity County representatives:
Drew Franklin: 530-623-2656
Joseph Bower: 530-628-5004

2.Anti-GMO measure gains strong Co-op support
By James Tressler
The Times-Standard

EUREKA -- The North Coast Cooperative is putting strong support behind a November measure that would ban genetically modified crops in Humboldt County.

According to a statement recently filed with the county Elections Office, the cooperative accounted for about half of the nearly $11,000 in cash and in-kind contributions raised between April and the end of June by the Humboldt Green Genes. The group describes itself as a local coalition of activists, organic farmers and community members.

The co-op donated $1,000 in cash to the Green Genes and spent another $4,744 on an information campaign, such as articles about the measure in the co-op's newsletter.

The co-op, which has been around since 1973 and owns stores in Eureka and Arcata, conducted a poll of its roughly 10,200 members and found virtually unanimous support of the measure among members.

Co-op General Manager Len Mayer said the co-op doesn't typically get involved in political issues.

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