March 20, 2016
County staff in Colorado’s Boulder County have been directed to draft a plan to rid county-owned land of genetically modified crops in the relatively near future. The directive was given recently (March 2016) by the Board of County Commissioners in the best interest of their people.
Under the current county cropland policy, adopted in 2011, tenant farmers are allowed to grow certain varieties of GM sugar beets and corn. But groups challenging the safety and health impacts of GM crops are eager to see them phased out. Advocates of non-GM agriculture fear that human health and the water, soil, and environment in general are negatively affected by growing biotech’s seed.
Conventional farmers currently growing GMOs on county-owned land argue that GM crops are safe They even claim that growing GM crops allows them to reduce the amount of water and pesticides they use. These are the same claims that the biotech industry has made.
No formal vote was taken, but the discussion by the Board of County Commissioners indicated that a plan for eliminating GMO crops would be supported by at least two of the three commissioners, Deb Gardner and Elise Jones.
Jones said the nearly 1,180 total acres of leased land could see GMOs phased out over a three-to-five-year period.