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Northern California's Mendocino County vote this week by a 56-44 percent margin on to prohibit the growing and development of genetically engineered plants and animals there. The county is the first in the nation to prohibit GMOs.

"This sets an example of how empowering it is to take back control of something as essential as the food we eat and the food we grow," said Laura Hamburg, a spokesperson for one of the groups that supported the ballot initiative. She noted that similar campaigns are underway in nine other California counties, including Sonoma, Marin and Humboldt.

However, local observers say that the vote was largely symbolic, since there are not GMOs in Mendocino, nor are any planned. The "no-GMO" approach could be used mostly as a marketing tool for the region's agricultural producers.
KC's View:
We think the greater symbolism is about local communities taking control of their environments. There is a story above about how people are being more selective in their eating habits, but we think that this is as much bowing to fad as anything else.

Saying that "we don't want GMOs" is a far more political and impactful statement…just like saying "we don't want big box stores" is essentially a political stand.