Boulder County will proceed with a policy and plan for phasing out the growing of genetically modified corn and sugar beets on county-owned farmland, county commissioners decided on a 2-1 Wednesday night vote.
Tenant farmers who have been growing genetically engineered corn on the lands they lease from the county can continue to plant it next year but will have to end using county-owned fields for GMO corn crops by the end of 2019. The staff-produced transition plan was approved by Commissioners Elise Jones and Deb Gardner but opposed by Commissioner Cindy Domenico.
Genetically engineered sugar beets will continue to be allowed for the next five years but will have to be phased out completely by the end of 2021.
While farmers who have been planting such crops have argued that independent scientific research into the relative benefits and problems accompanying the techniques of growing of GMO and non-GMO crops should precede any phase-out, Gardner and Jones said such research could be done concurrently with the three- and five-year transitions.
Local farmers argued unsuccessfully regarding the safety and environmental benefits of using GMO crops and that “the deadlines in the current transition document do not represent a reasonable compromise between the farmers’ call for research first and the non-farming activists who — with zero idea of what they’re talking about — want the transition to happen immediately.”
CLICK HERE to read more
Source: Times-Call Region News
Pixabay photo: CC0 Public Domain