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GMO Farmers Organize at Eleventh Hour to Fight GMO Ban in Boulder, Colorado

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering  page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our Colorado News page.
In the last several months -- as three different advisory groups have weighed in on how Boulder County should manage its croplands -- swarms of local activists, who believe genetically modified organisms should be banned on open space, have stolen the show.

They sat through numerous weeknight meetings, organized a rally that hundreds of people attended, placed full-page ads in local newspapers and wrote their own alternative management plan for the 16,000 acres of cropland owned by Boulder County's open space department.

So on Nov. 15, when the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee and the Food and Agriculture Policy Council held a joint session to listen to public feedback on the Cropland Policy that had been created over nine months by a third board, the Cropland Policy Advisory Group, the anti-GMO crowd overwhelmed the room, far outnumbering the people who spoke in favor of GMOs.

But by early this month, the tide had begun to shift.

When the final opportunity for the public to comment rolled around on Dec. 8 -- this time in front of the county commissioners, who are scheduled to issue a final decision Tuesday -- the proponents of allowing GMOs showed up en masse, treating the commissioners to a very different public hearing than their advisory boards experienced last month. The recent public outcry from farmers who favor genetically engineered crops has caused skeptical anti-GMO activists to accuse agribusiness giants, such as Monsanto, of swooping into town and coordinating the opposition. But local farmers say they are defending their livelihoods, not shilling for large companies.
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