Sunday, September 15, 2013

FAQs about the GMO-Free L.A. campaign

What would this campaign do?  This campaign would create a “GMO-Free Zone” in the City of Los Angeles, where GMO plants and seeds cannot be grown. We are asking L.A. City Council for a motion, which would be followed by actual legislation (a law) at the City level, which would ban genetically engineered plants from the City footprint. Immediately, that creates 502 square miles where heirloom seeds can be safely saved and preserved without fear of contamination. It creates potential for an enterprise zone for local growers and urban CSAs who can then say they are growing GMO-free. In a broader sense, declaring Los Angeles to be a “GMO-free Zone” gives a huge boost to the national movement.
Who is behind this campaign?  Seed Freedom LA is a coalition of the Seed Library of Los Angeles, the Environmental Change-Makers, Watts Labor Community Action Committee, and several other food-and-garden-related organizations. Seed Freedom LA was founded by international activist Vandana Shiva. Councilman Paul Koretz is authoring the motion, and Councilman Mike Bonin is supporting it. And citizens from every district of Los Angeles have been signing the petition. People care!

Why not GMO labeling?  Other groups are working on a successor to the Proposition 37 labeling initiative (rumor says that it may return to California ballots by 2014). In the meantime, we are starting grassroots. We are starting with seeds, and protecting seeds, because from the work of Vandana Shiva we understand the importance of seeds to the future of the food supply. We are starting with the City of L.A. because it is achievable right now. The motion to Los Angeles City Council is timed to be introduced just prior to Washington State’s November 1 election for their labeling initiative, thus we are doing this to support the overall movement. This campaign says “We don’t want genetic engineering here in L.A.!”

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