By October 24, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Los Angeles Considers A Ban On GMO Foods

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Two Los Angeles city councilmen introduced a motion last Friday that would ban not only the sale and distribution of genetically engineered seeds and plants, but also the growth of them.

The respective councilmen, Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell, explained that  the measure purports to protect local gardens and homegrown food first and foremost from contamination by genetically modified seeds.

The proposal would not, however, effect the sale of GMO-containing foods imported into the state.

O’Farrell explained, “We don’t want to consume mystery food. Since there’s currently no requirement, anyone could unwittingly purchase a genetically modified product and not know it. I think that’s irresponsible.”

David King, head of Learning Garden and Seed Library of LA, who helped craft the motion, said that “The pending ordinance would be symbolic more than anything else, but we do feel it’s an important step to have the second-largest city in the nation declare itself as against genetically modified seeds.”

Joanne Poyourow, the executive director of Environmental Changemakers of LA, who also contributed to the motion, said that “Right now, it is very challenging to save that diversity in the farmlands, but we think we can provide significant help in saving that diversity by saving seeds within the cities.”

Koretz added that “A growing number of problems are being traced to GMOs.” In addition to loss of the honey bee in so many regions, Koretz cited “the evolution of ‘superbug’ insects which are growing immune to the pesticides engineered within GMO crops” as well as “‘seed drift’ (for example the recent finding of GMO-pollinated wheat growing in an Oregon farmer’s field).”

This motion comes only weeks before Washington state is set to vote on ballot initiative 522, which proposes labeling GMO food products.

“If we aren’t going to be able to rely on our state or federal leaders to do something about GMOs,” O’Farrell said, “we can act locally. This statement goes beyond LA to the big food companies. LA’s always been a trendsetter. As we know, so goes the West, so goes the rest of the country.”

(Article by Ari Simeon; image via Shutterstock)

Posted in: GMO, War on Nature

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