In the wake of the Mendocino, California, ban on March 2, 2004, the movement to create GE Free Zones across the United States has accelerated, as have legislative efforts to strictly regulate GMOs.
Recent events include:
California: Following in the footsteps of Mendocino, there are activists in at least 12 of California’s 59 counties organizing to create GE-Free zones, including Humboldt, Butte, Marin, Sonoma, Napa and San Luis Obisbo. Activists from all over California are meeting this weekend in Mendocino to plan their next moves. In other California news, the state’s top agriculture official denied a proposal that would allow the planting of rice genetically engineered to create a drug. The proposal is likely to return for reconsideration next planting season.
North Dakota: A petition is being circulated for a ballot measure that would give the state the authority to reject Monsanto’s new genetically modified wheat. Farmers are concerned introduction of the crop will result in profit losses due to decreased export demand.
Pennsylvania: More than 50 townships have passed ordinances that regulate the expansion of local factory farms, and now the state Farm Bureau and big agribusiness are teaming up to implement legislation that would make it illegal for communities to have this kind of local control.
Vermont: Governor Douglas has agreed to sign the “Farmer’s Right to Know” bill that will require labeling of genetically engineered seeds in all retail outlets.