Schmeiser gets credit for pioneering GM law
A Saskatchewan farmer is being credited with helping bring in the first ban ever imposed on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the United States.
Percy Schmeiser was invited to speak to people in Mendocino County about the perils of genetically modified crops. He is awaiting a Supreme Court decision in his battle against biotech firm Monsanto over the use of the company's genetically modified canola seed.
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Els Cooperrider, who organized the Mendocino vote, says Schmeiser's talks had an influence on voters.
The proposition called for a prohibition on the cultivation, propogation, growing and raising of genetically modified engineered organisms anywhere in the county.
Cooperrider says the ban is easily enforceable because each county has its own agricultural commissioners who routinely inspect incoming shipments of seed and rootstock. So identifying genetically modified seed or crops should also be routine.
Unofficial results show that 56.5 per cent of voters were in favour of the ban. The proposition was includes as part of the Presidential Primary held on Tuesday. John Kerry won that primary with 53 per cent of the popular vote.