Denver Post editorial: In banning GMO crops, Boulder County organic activists overrun science

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Farmers must overcome damaging storms, drought and other unwanted gifts from nature. The last thing they need is capricious government, too. But that’s what they’ve got in Boulder County, where two of three commissioners are determined to stop them from growing genetically engineered crops on land they lease from the county.

Never mind that farmers have been growing GMO corn on public open space for nearly 15 years, and that an exhaustive review of science and policy persuaded commissioners in 2009 to formally approve biotech corn and sugar beets.

. . . .  The Boulder commission nevertheless directed its staff at a meeting last month to draft a plan to phase out GMO crops on county-owned farmland.

In doing so, they bowed to a coalition of anti-GMO activists and representatives of the organic and natural foods industries that spread fear and falsehoods in the face of overwhelming consensus among scientists and prestigious scientific bodies that the foodstuffs are safe. GMO crops have reduced the amount of pesticides farmers use while significantly increasing yields — in the case of sugar beets, dramatically so.

. . . .

It’s one thing to incentivize organic farming to promote agricultural diversity. It’s quite another to banish high-quality, high-yield crops because of anti-scientific fears. Boulder County struck the right balance years ago and shouldn’t reverse itself now.

Read full, original post: Science sacked in Boulder GMO plan

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