LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council today will consider a proposal to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops in the city.
The motion by Councilman Paul Koretz 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. It was backed Monday by members of the council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee.
If the motion is approved by the full council, 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 created to be resistant to pests or survive weed-killing agents, city officials said.
The proposed ordinance would then come back to the council for another vote.
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, which are regulated in the European Union, Australia and Japan.