What you need to know about Measure P
…and should share with any friends who are not yet convinced to vote YES on P:
From Ken Miller
Measure P is an economic issue, born out of concern for our community. Nearly a year and a half ago, Humboldt County citizens began a series of open meetings at the Bayside Grange in order to discuss local concerns about GMOs and to chart a course of action. People came from all parts of the county and from all walks of life to participate; they raised a multitude of intelligent, informed concerns. This group was not of a single mind but eventually coalesced around three shared core principles: fairness, prosperity, and protection.
As an all-volunteer, grassroots group, we’re very proud of our efforts to bring this issue to the voters. We truly believe that this is what democracy looks like.
GMOs are produced by manipulating DNA in a laboratory to overcome natural reproductive barriers. Almost all GMOs on the market today have been developed by large agrochemical companies from Conventional seed. That seed is then engineered to either produce a pesticide or resist an herbicide.
Once engineered and patented, these seeds and the genetic information they contain are considered the private property of the patent holder and cannot be shared or re-planted.
Farmers may not want to grow GMOs for a variety of reasons, but regardless of the reason, a farmer who has chosen not to grow GMOs is always at risk of crop contamination when anyone else in the vicinity is growing a related GMO crop. And, in a case of turning common sense on its head, those growing GMOs are not required to take any steps to minimize contamination nor are they or the patent holders legally liable for damages caused by contamination.
Let me be as frank as possible: GMO agriculture is based on poison usage.
The crops that have been developed over the last 30 plus years do not do things like resist drought or increase nutritional value for the consumer. In fact, they don’t do much of anything for the consumer. GMO crops are almost exclusively about weed and insect control. As target organisms adapt (and it’s a law of nature that they will), this method of farming requires more and stronger biocides.
It’s a GREAT business model for the agrochemical giants, which provide both the seed and the poison, but not such a good model for those of us concerned about Toxicants. By voting yes on Measure P, Humboldt County has the opportunity to step off this never-ending toxic treadmill and keep Humboldt County on a more sustainable path.
Measure P is designed to support the local economy. Organic and non-GMO products comprise the fastest growing sectors of the food industry, and Humboldt County farmers are already creating a name for themselves in these expanding markets. Adding Humboldt County to a GMO production-free zone, which already includes our immediate neighbors, Mendocino and Trinity, would be a sound economic decision.
The opposition is now attempting to sow doubt about Measure P. It’s a tried and true technique often employed to deflect scrutiny. Big Tobacco used it with smoking and cancer. Big Oil uses it with fossil fuel and climate change. Big Ag uses it with things food related. The fact is Measure P is not breaking new ground. It is largely based on a similar ordinance in Mendocino which has stood the test of time for 10 years.
While Mendocino has the distinction of being the first county in the US to become a GMO production-free zone, Trinity, Marin and Santa Cruz soon followed. Recently, the Oregon counties of Jackson and Josephine joined in. Perhaps we are witnessing the birth of a Pacific Northwest GMO production-free zone.
At its heart, Measure P is about local control versus corporate control of our local food system. It’s about supporting our hardworking farmers who have been developing a sustainable agricultural system here on the North Coast for over 100 years. Measure P is about protecting our soil, our water and our air from the toxic herbicides and insecticides that are the mainstay of corporate agriculture. Measure P is about maintaining the quality of life we have enjoyed for generations and maintaining it for the future generations I see in the arms of proud parents at Farmers Markets every week. If you share our vision, please join us in voting Yes on Measure P.
More info and to take action (please, you dollars and volunteer time is needed): <yesonp2014.org>/
To read on the opponents to these measures: