KLAMATH – The Yurok Tribal Council recently voted unanimously to endorse Humboldt County’s Measure P. If approved by voters, the measure will see Humboldt County join neighboring Mendocino and Trinity Counties in prohibiting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops, often called GMOs. Measure P is already supported by a long list of local farms, businesses, organizations, and individuals, but the Tribal Council’s action makes it the first tribe to officially endorse.
“The Yurok Tribe endorsed this measure because the practice of GMO farming is not consistent with our cultural values,” said Susan Masten, Vice Chair of the Yurok Tribe. “We need to move away from chemical-based food production, which has a huge impact on the environment. This industrialized approach to agriculture has harmed almost every salmon-bearing river in California, which is not good for anybody. We support a system of food cultivation that does not harm fish and wildlife.”
“We’re extremely proud to have the Yurok Tribe’s endorsement,” said Bill Schaser. Schaser, the Measure P campaign’s primary spokesperson, is a retired Eureka High School science teacher and current education director for a biotech firm. “We think the Yurok Tribal Council has assessed the issues around GMOs insightfully, and we appreciate that they have concluded that Measure P is worthy of their support.”
GMOs are produced by manipulating DNA in a laboratory to overcome natural reproductive barriers. The resulting organisms contain genetic codes which could not have been created through natural processes. The most widespread GMOs today are crop plants engineered to resist the effects of certain herbicides or to produce their own insecticides. For more information about Measure P, visit www.yesonp2014.org. For more information about the Yurok Tribe, visit www.yuroktribe.org.