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Farmer’s future with GMO ban

EUREKA - Measure P, the GMO ban initiative, stands to pass following Tuesday night’s report from the polls. Now this is still the unofficial result from election night with vote-by-mail and provisional votes left to tally. But “Yes on P” stands with a nearly 20 percent lead over “no”, meaning a “GMO ban” is in the future for our farmers.

“This is how we want to live our lives in Humboldt County. This is organic philosophy. We don't need all this stuff in our food,” Bill Schaser, spokesperson for “Yes on P”, said.

According to unofficial election results, more than half of Humboldt’s voters feel that way when it comes to banning Genetically Modified Organisms.

“There are people who are just saying lets fulfill these GMO-free niche. Lets be organic in our thinking. I'm thrilled to death with that,” Schaser added.

The official results will not be available for another few weeks but Measure P, banning farmers from growing GMO’s, is passing with a 59% “yes” vote. Katherine Ziemer, Executive Director of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau, says she’s not surprised the measure passed but doesn’t expect much to change for her farmers.

“We have a very very small percentage of people that grow some GMO corn for like the dairies. So I think overall, it's not going to make much difference in Humboldt County,” Ziemer said.

So why even propose the bill in the first place? Proponents of “P” say it protects the future.

“It just makes sure it doesn't happen cause you don't know what's coming down the pipe. They want to engineer everything,” Schaser said.

Board members of the Farmer’s Bureau did not take a stand on this measure, but May in the future as it effects their production. They also want to see future initiatives come from the inside.

“When the outsiders look at this, and say I think I'm going to change the way agriculture production should be by doing an initiative, it's just wrong. I think we should leave that up to people that are investing all of their livelihood,” Ziemer said.