Family farmers welcome defeat of biotech ban
» November 9, 2005 «
The defeat of an anti-biotechnology initiative in this week's election shows that voters recognize that their food is safe and understand the need for innovation and flexibility on California farms, according to the state's largest farm organization.
The California Farm Bureau Federation welcomed the defeat of Measure M, an initiative that would have banned biotech crops in Sonoma County.
"Voters have again shown their trust in California's family farmers to grow the safest, most affordable food in the world," California Farm Bureau President Bill Pauli said. "By defeating Measure M, the voters showed their understanding that farmers need access to the most advanced tools and the latest research so that Californians can continue to consume California-grown products. We thank Sonoma County voters for that trust."
Pauli congratulated Sonoma County family farmers for their work to defeat the initiative. A coalition of farm groups known as the Family Farmers Alliance, led by the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, was the main organization working to defeat Measure M. He noted that Farm Bureaus in Butte and San Luis Obispo counties put forth similar efforts to defeat equivalent measures a year ago.
"To succeed today, family farmers must commit themselves to their land and their communities. Increasingly, they must also commit themselves to be politically active," Sonoma County Farm Bureau President Mike Strunk said. "We're encouraged to see again that voters respect the opinions of family farmers on these important questions, and we thank family farmers from around the state who helped us succeed."
Pauli said Farm Bureau will continue work to educate Californians about agricultural biotechnology. Farm Bureau has helped to organize the California Healthy Foods Coalition, which provides public information about biotech crops. The coalition maintains a Web site at www.feedingthefuture.org.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 87,000 members statewide.
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