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Ag Commissioner developing enforcement program for GMO ban

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EUREKA- The Agricultural Commissioner’s office is now beginning the process of developing an enforcement program to deal with violators of the genetic contamination prevention ordinance.

Voted on as Measure P in the November election, the ordinance bans local farmers from growing genetically modified organisms.

As part of the new law, the AG Commissioner is responsible for handling violations and enforcement.

“Given that it's involving plant breeding and plant genetics, it's very complex scientific and so it requires very thorough review by the Ag Commissioner’s office to make sure what we're doing is consistent with what was passed by the voters,” said Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner Jeff Dolf.

According the commissioner, the ordinance will be complaint driven, meaning staff will not actively look for violations. The office will receive and investigate complaints as outlined by the county’s nuisance abatement process.

A geneticist from the University of California will be helping the commissioner determine effective enforcement strategies before the complaint process can begin.