View of City Hall. Photo by John Schreiber.
View of City Hall. Photo by John Schreiber.

A City Council committee on Monday backed a proposal to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops within the city.

With the support of the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee, the motion by Councilman Paul Koretz that calls for a prohibition on the sale and planting of genetically modified seeds, as well as the sale of genetically modified fruit trees and plants in Los Angeles, will move to the full council Tuesday.

If the motion is approved, the City Attorney’s Office will draft an ordinance that would turn Los Angeles into a so-called “GMO-Free Zone,” at least in terms of the sale and planting of many genetically modified plants.

Genetically engineered organisms that could be banned include patented, lab-created varieties of corn, soy and other plants that were created to be resistant to pests or survive weed-killing agents, city officials said.

Instead of experimenting on plant life, “we want to conduct our own experiment in L.A., and make all 503 square miles of the city a GMO Free growing zone,” Koretz said. “Let’s see what that does for our health, for soil health, for pollination, and let’s see what it does for economic development.”

Koretz contends genetic modification reduces bio-diversity, makes food unsafe to eat and is linked to the collapse of bee populations. GMO supporters, however, have contended that the process can help battle food shortages. They also deny that there are health risks associated with GMOs.

GMOs are regulated in the European Union, Australia and Japan.

According to Koretz’s motions, Arcata, a city in Humboldt County, has enacted a ban on the sale, distribution and growth of GMO seeds and plants.

City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.