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Today I went to a rally in front of the courthouse (now a city municipal building) to support the vote against GMO crops in Boulder County Open Space. The rally was organized by #GMOfreeBoulder. Make sense? Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of what’s going on:

  • Boulder County owns a lot of open space, over 200,000 acres, much it is undeveloped and mountainous, but they also own over 20,000 acres of agricultural land
  • That agricultural land (some of it is know as cropland, the rest is ranch land) gets leased to all sorts of farmers, cattle ranchers, traditional farmers, organic farmers, etc.
  • Right now, OSMP allows farmers to plant GMO corn, they are currently hearing petitioners about a proposal to allow (or not) the planting of other GMO crops on cropland
During the rally, City Counsel held an opening hearing (inside) where 20 people spoke, over two and a half hours, about why GMOs should/should not permitted for planting in open space cropland. They vote next week.
I went to the rally because I don’t agree with planting GMOs on publicly owned land that I help to support. Sadly, I don’t think I can do much about it. Growing conventional seeds has a much cheaper starting fee than heirloom seeds, plus you know exactly what you’ll get! Unfortunately, that means that GMOs may continue to be planted on public lands.
My biggest beef with GMO crops is that they often have been breed to be pest resistant and impervious to weed killers (roundup ready, meaning they are hardy plants that stand up to roundup, the industrial herbicide). Roundup ready plants can’t breed, they need to be planted from purchased seeds every year and seeds can’t be collected. F1 hybrids are unpredictable and therefore unreliable and un-plantable.
Anyway, I’m all for bees. That’s right, bees. The buzzy little pollinators that make honey and sometimes sting people if they feel threatened. I believe that GMOs are bad for bees because if you breed a plant to produce its own pesticides you’ll poison the pollinators. You can’t do what bee farmers have been doing for decades to protect the bees, cover the hives in canvas and keep the bees in on pesticide spraying days, because the pesticides are being produced by the plants themselves. Poor bees, their little nervous systems never had a chance (see: colony collapse disorder)!

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