Sonoma County "Genetically Engineered Organism Nuisance Abatement Ordinance", Measure M (November 2005)

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A Sonoma County "Genetically Engineered Organism Nuisance Abatement Ordinance," Measure M ballot question was on the November 8, 2005 ballot for voters in Sonoma County, California, where it was defeated.

If Measure M had been approved, it would have, for a period of at least ten years:

  • Prohibit the raising, growing, propagation, cultivation, sale, or distribution of most genetically engineered organisms.
  • Required the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner to enforce the ordinance "by, after a hearing, confiscating and destroying the genetically engineered organisms."
  • Provided for fines and fees for each violation.

Election results

Measure M
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No90,65855.2%
Yes 73,670 44.8%
These final, certified, election results are from the Sonoma County elections office.

Support

The "Yes on Measure M" website logo

Supporters

The official voter guide arguments in favor of Measure M were signed by:

  • The Community Alliance with Family Farmers, George Davis, Vice President
  • Dr. April Hurley, a physician
  • The Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club, Margaret Pennington, Chair
  • Jill Nussinow, a registered dietitian and nutrition educator
  • The Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermen's Association, Yvette Hudson, board secretary[1]

Arguments in favor

Arguments made in the official voter guide in favor of Measure M included:

  • "People should know what's in their food. But today chemical corporations are releasing genetically engineered (GE) organisms into our food supply. These crops and foods are unlabeled."
  • "Sonoma County needs a time-out on genetically engineered crops -- and that's what Measure M will do. It creates a 10-year moratorium on growing GE crops, fish, trees, viruses and other organisms in our county."
  • "Our children should not be used as guinea pigs for genetic engineering."
  • "When GE crops are released, they create herbicide-resistant super-weeds and contaminate the local food supply and natural environment. Genetic contamination is forever -- it can't be recalled, contained or cleaned up. Measure M will keep GE crops from polluting our farms, gardens and wild lands."
  • "Genetic crop contamination can put small farmers out of business. They stand to lose crop sales and face costly patent lawsuits by Monsanto. Organic farmers are particularly vulnerable to GE contamination -- they may lose organic certification and their livelihood. Measure M protects our family farmers from these economic threats."
  • "Measure M requires violators, not taxpayers, to pay all cleanup and enforcement costs."
  • "Measure M is supported by thousands of Sonoma County family farmers, commercial fishermen, doctors and nurses, parents and environmentalists. Join us to protect our farms, our environment, and our children's health from the risks of genetic contamination."[1]

Opposition

Opponents

The official voter guide arguments opposing Measure M were signed by:

  • The Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Michael B. Strunk, president
  • Steve Dutton, a grape grower and organic farmer
  • Mitch Mulas, dairyman
  • Saralee McClelland Kunde, a grape grower
  • The Sonoma County Taxpayers Association, Fred Levin, executive director[1]

Opposition

Arguments made in the official voter guide opposing Measure M included:

  • "Voting No on Measure M is a vote to protect family farmers and ranchers, and the future of Sonoma County agriculture -- the backbone of our local economy. That's why major farming organizations in Sonoma County oppose Measure M."

Banning farm families, ranchers and winegrowers from growing and selling genetically modified crops puts them at a competitive disadvantage which will have a crippling effect on Sonoma County agriculture."

  • "For years, GMO's have made farming safer, more efficient and more environmentally sensitive. Science has proven that GMO crops reduce pesticide use, fuel emissions and water use while improving air quality."
  • "Read the fine print. Proponents of Measure M ignored the needs of local farmers and taxpayers."
  • "Measure M is filled with unintended consequences. It will cost taxpayers millions and is so poorly written that it provides no exemption for medical or veterinary vaccines or life saving treatments for cancer, heart disease or other illnesses. If farm families can't compete, farm land will be further developed -- accelerating suburban sprawl and the destruction of Sonoma County's natural beauty."
  • "The Family Farmers Alliance is a coalition of local farmers and ranchers fighting to protect Sonoma County Agriculture and defeat Measure M. We're supported by major farming organizations, like the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Sonoma County Grape Growers, Western United Dairymen, Sonoma-Marin Cattlemen & Cattlewomen, North Bay Dairy Women, California Women for Agriculture, Sonoma County Wool Growers. We're also supported by the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association."
  • "Agriculture is the heart of Sonoma County, and the backbone of our economy. Sonoma County has trusted local farmers to care for our land and our environment for generations. We ask that you continue your faith in us to preserve, protect and enrich Sonoma County."[1]

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure M: "Shall the "Sonoma County Genetically Engineered Organism Nuisance Abatement Ordinance" which would, for at least the next ten years: (1) prohibit the raising, growing, propagation, cultivation, sale, or distribution of most genetically engineered organisms; (2) require the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner to enforce the ordinance by, after a hearing, confiscating and destroying the genetically engineered organisms; and (3) provide for fines and fees for each violation, be adopted?"[2]

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Smart Voter on Measure M
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.