I’m writing to endorse Measure P. As a scientist at Organic Seed Alliance, I see the benefits for local organic seed producers. We live in a great region to produce seed and knowing that our seed comes from a GMO-free county makes our seed that much more attractive.
However, this is about more than economics and marketing. The USDA recently granted approval to Dow AgroSciences for corn and soybeans genetically engineered to survive 2,4-D, a drift-prone chemical with proven devastating health effects. Do Americans want crops that will dramatically increase the use of more 2,4-D? Do we have a choice? The USDA essentially ignored more than 500,000 comments from the public. Now, if Measure P doesn’t pass, once the seed becomes available, there is nothing to stop 2,4-D resistant crops from being grown (and sprayed all season long) in this county.
There are a lot of smart people who argue that we need to separate the technology itself from the way it is most widely used today; that genetic engineering has the potential to be used for the public good. But technology is ultimately tied to its application. Could we have “good” GMOs that provide real benefits to this county? Maybe. But I’m voting yes on Measure P because I’d like to put a gate up and say, “No thank you, Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta, you haven’t proven yourselves trustworthy,” and wait and see.
Jared Zystro, Arcata