John LaBoyteaux: Measure P Will Protect Humboldt County

Measure P will protect Humboldt County

Genetic Engineering has resulted in the development of agricultural production systems which assume people will eat pesticide in our food.

Pesticides like Glyphosate (RoundUp) applied directly to GMO crops are taken up by the crop plants, or the plants are genetically engineered to produce Bt toxin within the plants themselves. These toxins and their by products are present at low levels in every cell of the plant including the parts we eat. They are an integral part of the production system. Use of 2-4D in these systems, either individually or in combination with the toxins mentioned above, has just been approved by the USDA. These agricultural production systems are headed in entirely the wrong direction.

My 35-year farming career has been devoted to raising food without pesticides, even those like Bt which are allowed in organic production. This is a primary goal and direction of organic farming. Even conventional “best management” Integrated Pest Management practices try to minimize pesticide use rather than making it a built-in part of the production system.

Humboldt’s small family farms and pasture based dairies have a great advantage in the growing market for valueadded organic and conventional non-GMO Foods. Organic production has allowed our farms and dairies to compete in statewide markets with the smaller quantities that are possible in Humboldt County.

Measure P will protect this advantage creating a three county GMO Free Zone for value-added organic and conventional non-GMO crops and a safe haven for seed production.

John LaBoyteaux, Redcrest

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