BY DONNA WESTFALL
In a 13-1 vote, the Los Angeles city council has decided to move forward and draft an ordinance prohibiting the sale and planting of genetically modified seeds, as well as the sale of genetically modified fruit trees and plants in Los Angeles.
When I approached Crescent City Councilman Rich Enea, and Del Norte County Supervisor 1st District Roger Gitlin, about drafting an ordinance banning GMO’s in Crescent City and Del Norte County, both had the same reply, “We really don’t have agriculture going on here and we don’t see the need for an ordinance.”
However, all of that could change in a heartbeat. While attending Transistion US’s meeting led by Dan Schultz September 24th, I met Mr. Goldberg out of Humboldt County. Their group was successful in obtaining 200 fruit trees FREE and planting the majority at low income apartments.
What’s to prevent our area from obtaining and planting fruit trees? Our area already has numerous fruit trees that allows the Del Norte Gleaning Project to come and pick and distribute the fruit around town to groups like Harrington House, Our Daily Bread Ministries, CAN and others. That’s all well and good.
Keep in mind that Monsanto, the major player in the genetic engineering field, has already acquired numerous seed companies. Even though 50 countries throughout the world have restrictions or bans on GMO products; not so in the good old USA and Canada. Many countries demand labeling of products containing GMO ingredients. Our country still bows down to the almighty dollar in cow-towing to companies like Monsanto. At the rate Monsanto is going, they are on target to controlling the food supply AND making sure that no one knows that their GMO produce like corn and soy are labeled on the products you consume. So, when you start having allergies and begin to trace it back to that bag of tortilla chips you like to eat with dip every night, just remember you could have changed something by insisting on the following:
1. Ban GMO seeds, fruit trees and plants by demanding our local government agencies pass appropriate ordinances.
2. Demand that all products be labeled that contain GMO ingredients. Right now, the State of Oregon has Measure 92 on the ballot to label GMO’s. If they are successful they will be the first state in the nation to overcome the millions that Monsanto and their buddies pour in to defeat these campaigns.
It would be very wise if our area made a pre-emptive strike and banned GMO seeds, fruit trees and plants now before it became an issue. Arcata, a city in Humboldt County, has already enacted a ban on the sale, distribution and growth of GMO seeds and plants. Once again, Humboldt County takes the lead. Will Del Norte County follow?