Opponents of genetically modified crops won big in Sonoma County [Nov. 8] when voters approved a ban on GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, by a margin of nearly 12 percentage points.
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Sonoma County is the sixth California county to ban GMOs, joining Santa Cruz, Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity and Marin.
Because Sonoma County connects Marin County to Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity, the ban’s passage creates a 13,734-square-mile zone where genetically engineered plants cannot be grown, the largest such area in the United States.
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It’s a major victory for a movement that has seen mixed results in local efforts to ban GMO crops in other states. Several counties in Hawaii have passed GMO bans only to see them overturned by federal judges, and a 2014 ban in Josephine County, Ore., was later found to be invalid because it conflicted with state law. A ban in Jackson County, Ore., remains in force because Jackson was exempted from the aforementioned state law.
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