This to express our support for San Juan County Initiative 2012-4, which would prohibit the growing of genetically modified organisms in open systems such as agriculture and landscaping. Having worked in the natural products grocery industry for the past decade (eight of those here on Lopez Island), we are well versed on the problems of GMOs and how they could hurt our community and local ecology.
A ban on GMOs in San Juan County would protect our island agriculture from genetic pollution and legal and financial burdens that inevitably descend wherever GMOs are planted. It also would help people eating vegetables, fruits and grains grown in the islands to know they are avoiding GMOs, an important feature in a country where GMOs are not required to be labeled.
Additionally, our geographic isolation, if protected by a legal ban on GMOs, could allow our islands’ agriculture to become a safe-haven from the genetic pollution spreading slowly across mainland landscapes. The islands could become an ideal location for developing new non-GMO seed varieties, both for local use and for export. As the demand for organic and other non-GMO agricultural products continues to climb worldwide, having a clean source of genetically acceptable seed-stock will become essential and valuable.
At one time, these islands were the “Fruit Basket of the Northwest,” with all the concomitant benefits to the local economy and ecology. With the protection of this ban, we could one day become the “Seed Basket of the Northwest,” signaling another revitalization of the local economy and ecology.
Vote YES! (with an exclamation mark!) on Initiative 2012-4.
In good health,
Brian and Jennell Kvistad
Owners and operators of Blossom Grocery