So-called “GMO-free” zones have been sprouting up county by county across the U.S. Lead initially by the state of California, these zones indicate areas where growing GMO crops is outlawed. During Tuesday’s election, Sonoma County, Calif., joined the ranks of Santa Cruz, Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity and Marin counties going GMO-free. The addition of Sonoma County creates the largest GE-free zone in the country, measuring 13,734-square-miles.
According to a story from the San Francisco Chronical, farmers currently growing GMOs will be able to continue to do so for the current season before the ban kicks in. In addition, the newspaper reports that farmers who have purchased seed for the following year will be able to plant it as well.
Organic Authority, a news service aimed at organic farmers, reports that supporters of this measure raised three times as much funding as the opposition. Among the supporters were organic dairies, natural food co-ops and heirloom seed companies. Sonoma County Farm Bureau opposed the measure, arguing that it vaguely worded and would prohibit farmers from using technology necessary to fight pests and diseases.