The majority of Sonoma County’s agricultural community grows non-genetically engineered (GMOs) crops. But as more GMOs crops are introduced, a threat is posed to the livelihood of our local farmers. GMO pollens and seeds cannot be contained when grown and can be carried by nature (e.g. wind, bees), contaminating nearby agricultural lands. If more than a trace (.9%) of a farmer’s crop is contaminated, it is illegal for that farmer to sell or save the seed, because according to U.S. patent law, it belongs to the corporation holding the patent on the seeds.
In Nov., 2016, Sonoma County voters will have the opportunity to protect the right of local farmers to continue growing traditional crops without the fear of GMO contamination. This ordinance is called Measure M. Santa Cruz, Marin, Mendocino, Trinity, and Humboldt Counties have passed similar measures to protect their local farms. These laws have been in place for up to 11 years with no costs to county or taxpayers..
What Measure M will do
Measure M will protect Sonoma County’s agricultural lands from GMO contamination by prohibiting the growing and raising of GMOs in our county.
Why does Measure M matter?
GMOs are transgenic, meaning that a plant or animal has had genes from a different species artificially inserted into it’s DNA in a lab. This is not a natural process. Measure M does not prohibit traditional methods of plant breeding, such as grafting, hybridization, and selective breeding.
Passing this measure is critical to the long-term success of organic and non-GMO agriculture in Sonoma County. Measure M will protect all farmers growing non-GMO crops from unintended GMO contamination.