In the letter, ASPB President Roger Hangarter, Professor at Indiana University, and ASPB Committee on Public Affairs Chair Pam Ronald, Professor at University of California, Davis, pointed out serious flaws with the ballot measure. They noted that jailing of farmers and scientists pursuant to Measure M for use of safe, innovative technologies is unjust, anti-science and harmful to American agriculture.
Following is the ASPB letter sent to the Chair of the Humboldt County (in California) Board of Supervisors:
October 19, 2004
Ms. Jill Geist
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
825 Fifth Street, Room 111
Eureka, California 95501
Dear Ms. Geist:
The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) urges you and your fellow voters in Humboldt County to oppose Measure M on the local ballot November 2.
If passed, Measure M "would make it unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to propagate, cultivate, raise or grow genetically modified organisms in Humboldt County. Primary enforcement responsibility is placed upon the Agricultural Commissioner of Humboldt County, who would be required to notify any person that may be in violation of the ordinance that the organisms are subject to confiscation and destruction. Such person would have five days to respond to such notification with evidence that such organisms are not in violation. The Agricultural Commissioner would consider the evidence presented and any other relevant evidence, and make a determination as soon as possible, but at least before any genetic pollution may occur."