The Sonoma County Alliance opposes Sonoma County Proposition on the November 8, 2016, ballot that will ban the use of Genetically Engineered Organisms (GMO’s). The title of the proposition is the Sonoma County Transgenic Contamination Ordinance.

This initiative fails the interests of the Sonoma County Community in a number of ways.

It fails to recognize the overwhelming scientific evidence that concludes there is no associated danger from genetically modified crops. Group after group of recognized scientists from around the world, have taken a position in support of GMO’s and there are no verifiable instances of any harm to an individual from a product containing material from a GMO crop. Speaking at the August 3, General Membership Meeting of the Sonoma County Alliance, Dr. Allison Van Eenennaam, explained the fact that Genetic Engineering is being used routinely for medical uses and food process aides involving 450 million acres and 18 million farmers in at least 28 different countries.

It fails to clearly define the process it wishes to ban, thus increasing the County’s exposure to lawsuits, and it does not recognize the ever changing technology continually being developed in plant science.

It fails to recognize basic plant biology that differentiates between self-pollinating versus cross-pollinating fruit. In Sonoma County, the majority of crops are self-pollinating and present no danger at all to neighboring crops.

Most significantly, it fails to allow for the opportunity for improvement in crops that would benefit both the economy and the environment. Currently work is under way to develop grape vines that are resistant to Pierce’s Disease and Powdery Mildew. When available, using these vines in Sonoma County vineyards would significantly reduce the needs for pesticides. Similarly, vines are being developed that would be more drought resistant, requiring substantially less water. Neither would be allowed in Sonoma County if this initiative is passed.

The Sonoma County Alliance joins the Sonoma County Farm Bureau urging you to Vote NO on The Sonoma County Transgenic Contamination Ordinance.

Further Questions should be referred to:

Brian Ling
Executive Director
Sonoma County Alliance
(707) 525-8377