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Institute for Food and Development Policy
MARCH 3, 2004
2:30 PM
CONTACT: Institute for Food and Development Policy
Nick Parker, (510) 469-5228
Grassroots Victory Over Biotech Corporations: Mendocino Bans GMCrops

OAKLAND, CA - March 3 - The Institute for Food and Development Policy, also known as Food First, salutes the citizens of Mendocino County for passing Measure H banning the growing of genetically modified crops in the county, sending a clear message to the biotech industry that their goods are unwanted by American growers and consumers.

The Campaign for a GMO-Free Mendocino, a grassroots group comprising farmers and vintners, farm-workers and concerned consumers and citizens, campaigned tirelessly over the last two months. They organized public meetings, and went door-to-door throughout the country to debunk the misinformation spread by the biotechnology public-relations machine, which dubbed Measure H the "H-Bomb." The grassroots challenge created a furor in the industry, which outspent the local community by 7 to 1 in running print, T.V. and radio ads.

David Drell from the Campaign for a GMO-Free Mendocino expressed a sentiment being echoed around Mendocino "People can overcome money." This passage of Measure H in Mendocino signals a growing challenge to biotechnology and corporate control of the food system in America. Plans are already underway in nine other California counties, including Napa, Marin, Humboldt, and Sonoma, to follow suit and pass similar legislation.

"Victory in Mendocino will be celebrated by people around the world who have rejected biotech crops. What is bad for Mendocino is bad for the rest of the world," said Anuradha Mittal of Food First. "We at Food First are proud to have supported this successful and ethical community struggle. Although corporations are able to buy influence in Washington, they can't fool the American public. Measure H is the first step in moving the US towards the ranks of both developing and industrialized nations that have adopted comprehensive regulations around GM crops."


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