GMO Free Humboldt Seeks Biotech Ban

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bryn Robertson

Eye Reporter

BAYSIDE – The GMO Free Humboldt grassroots organization of local consumers, farmers and concerned individuals met last Wednesday at the Bayside Grange to construct a ban on the growth of genetically modified organisms in Humboldt County.

Unlike the recent Proposition 37, which sought to label all genetically modified produce and other goods already available to consumers, the GMO Free Humboldt ban would prevent these crops and other organisms from being grown or produced within the county.

About 70 attendees from Arcata, Eureka, Garberville and other parts of Humboldt appeared at the meeting and signed up to volunteer their time to prepare the ban wording for submission to the county.

Small groups formed to develop the language and talking points of the ban itself, as well as outreach and education to both organic and non-organic farmers, influential stakeholders and other interested members of the community.

The two-hour meeting whipped by with passionate input from families, farmers and local business representatives, all eager to voice their concerns and offer their time to get the ball rolling.

One young mother with an even younger baby boy took the time to alert the group of an up-and-coming Moms Across America march against Humboldt GMOs in Ferndale and an Arcata Co-op representative gathered contact from members to further develop an outreach network.

The grassroots movement is in its early stages and developing fast with an open invitation to all Humboldt locals interested in participating.

Meetings are held bimonthly at the Bayside Grange.

Volunteers are expected to bring energy and a willingness to work with other volunteers in the group to prepare the ban for submission, with the deadline set roughly 347 days before elections.

Upcoming meeting dates:  July 10, 24, Aug. 7, 21, Sept. 4, 18, Oct. 2, 16, Nov. 6, 20 and Dec. 4, 18.

For more information on the Moms Across America march visit

GMO Free Humboldt’s Facebook page.


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59 Responses to “GMO Free Humboldt Seeks Biotech Ban”

  1. Ian Ray

    Nathan Donnelly, not to split hairs, but isothiocyanates (mustard oils) are an insecticide; it is not just that they taste bad (really: either contact or gustatory chemoreception).

    Your Bt claims are interesting, but what source material are you basing them on?

  2. Hi, I'm going to jump in here because you obviously don't know that no farmers in HumCo currently grow gmo crops. The passing of this ordinance "might" affect some in the future from growing gmo sugar beets to feed their cattle, or Bt/RR corn for the same purposes. And the assumption that farmers have no other armory than what gm crops breed for is completely ludicrous. Look up Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The whole GM system is bent toward blasting everything because we can assimilate a certain amount of toxins in our food supply. I much prefer the IPM methodology that we need to be doing the least amount of harm to our bodies as possible.

    And to the question of contamination control, can you please understand that the issue is that GM crops are introducing dna of cross species, things that would never happen in nature.

  3. Kevin Hoover

    Janet L. Sclar What if it would never happen in nature? What is the significance there?

  4. Dunn AndNena Eggink And even more, "because it works so well" Roundup is even sprayed directly on the crop itself when they want it all to die for a quicker harvest. Yum!

  5. Kevin Hoover The significance is that we're messing with species that do not naturally mix such as cauliflower and corn, elephants and rice, and whatever they've used on the GE sugar beets which could spread to my beets and chard which I grow from saved seed every season. Until it is proven that it does no harm (not just within an "allowable toxicity exposure") then I do not want to eat the resulting experiments from the lab. Many studies have raised warning flags about health concerns. Come hear Dr. Hansen today at 4PM at Bear River Community Center. At least give him a hearing.

  6. Ian Ray

    Mmm hmmm, your neighbor in Humboldt growing a big field of sugar beets… sugar beets that can't be saved for seed for seed. That will totally ever happen, just like it will totally ever happen that Syngenta starts growing plots in Humboldt.

    This proposed regulation is full of scary what ifs. The only what if I propose is what if we ban a useful technology that could save trees or lower the environmental impact of farmers who aren't going to switch to organic in any case? Do we then have to go through this process all over again to undo a major error? What if there isn't enough time?

  7. Kevin Hoover

    Janet L. Sclar I saw his talk last night, and just had an hour-long breakfast meeting with Dr. Hansen and Jean Halloran of CU at the Valley West Pantry. It was a wide-ranging and frank discussion. We'll be continuing to correspond.

    "The significance is that we're messing with species that do not naturally mix such as cauliflower and corn…"

    I believe that is a tautology, where the problem is assumed in the premise, but is not supported. Why would a synthetic substance – one that has been messed with – be inherently more dangerous than a natural one? What is the support for this assumption?

    Further, can science ever assure you that something does no harm, or that it doesn't merit further study? I don't think it can do either of those things.

  8. Send me a friends request Shannon Cunningham

  9. Europe has been successful in becoming a GMO FREE ZONE.
    BEST for America to become GMO FREE ZONE

    It is about Healthy Living and Healthy Eating. BAN GMO/BIOTECH Companies from Experimenting on Land and making Hazardous environments near their Labs/Farms


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