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In November 2011, about 250 Boulder County residents attended a public meeting to discuss the planting of GM (genetically modified) crops on county-owned land. Their turnout, together with an anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) recommendation from the county's Food and Agriculture Policy Council, led county officials to vote for a phase out of genetically engineered crops on open space. This is a powerful testimony to the influence residents can have on their local regulations when they stand together for a cause; you, too, can work toward enacting such a phase out in your area as well.
The Boulder County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to allow some genetically modified organisms to be grown on county-owned open space land.
All three commissioners agreed that farmers should be allowed to continue to plant corn that has been genetically engineered to resist the herbicide glyphosate or to resist insects. Planting GMO corn was first approved in Boulder County in 2003.
And the commissioners supported the planting of Roundup Ready sugar beets, which also have been modified to resist glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup. But the commissioners said they would be reticent to approve any additional glyphosate-resistant crops that may be developed in the future.
The commissioners said they would consider GMO crops with other traits -- such as drought resistance -- in the future as they are developed.