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News and Featured Blogs

M's Opposition Funded by GMO Agro-Chemical Corporations

Santa Rosa, CA – Today, Citizens for Healthy Farms and Families announced that Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, and duPont have arrived in Sonoma County to fight Measure M on the November 8 ballot. Measure M is a local ballot measure to prohibit growing GMO’s. 


“Just recently, the opposition was quoted as saying they weren’t planning to spend money against Measure M,” said Karen Hudson, Yes on M campaign manager. According to documents filed with the Sonoma County Clerk, these companies are funding a recently formed committee named ‘No on M- Sponsored and Opposed by farmers, ranchers, and agricultural technology companies’ and have reported receipt of over, $98,000 since October 10. The contribution reports can be viewed online, here:  Agro-chemical corporations wouldn’t be putting money in, if they didn’t have plans for Sonoma County. The fact is, more and more people want non-GMO food, and our local farms have a right to grow without contamination. It’s that simple.” 


These companies make genetically engineered seeds and the herbicides designed to be used with them. When grown in open fields, GMO crops present a contamination threat to non-GMO farms miles away. As new GMO crop varieties are approved for planting, local farmers, who are trying to meet the needs of consumers desiring non-GMO food, will face an even greater threat to their businesses. 80% of Sonoma County dairies are organic, which means that their cows cannot eat GMO contaminated grass.


“My right to grow non-GMO should not be threatened by someone else’s business practices that are harmful to mine. Millions of dollars in lost export revenue has occurred from GMO contamination,” said Joey Smith, owner/manager of Let’s Go Farm in Santa Rosa.  “Because people growing genetically engineered crops are not required to register, we don’t know exactly how many genetically engineered crops are growing here in Sonoma County.” he continued.  “We don’t want GMO crops proliferating here, so that’s why we are taking action. The Measure is carefully written to be fair to all farmers. Measure M is really about being proactive, just like the GMO growing bans in the five other CA counties.”


Chemical companies have spent money fighting similar battles in other communities that have had measures to prohibit growing GMO crops before voters. In Jackson County, Oregon, chemical companies spent nearly $1 million in 2014 against Measure 15-119. The ban, however, was approved by more than 65% of voters. “In 2014 when big chemical corporations poured a million dollars of outside money to oppose Jackson County’s GMO ban, local voters saw through the opposition’s political bull and rallied to support the genetically engineered crop ban that would protect family farms and the agricultural future of our valley. GMO crops and traditional crops can’t coexist.” said Elise Higley, Executive Director of Our Family Farms and Family Farmers


The Yes on M Committee is relying on the support of a broad list of endorsers, including: local farmers, dairy owners, farming organizations, vintners, business owners, newspapers, environmental organizations like the Sierra Club and Sonoma County Conservation Action; political groups like the local Democratic Party; former Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey; former State Senator Noreen Evans; former State Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada; local elected and community leaders from across Sonoma County and numerous residents.


The text of Measure M, a full list of endorsements, and more information can be found at:


In Support Of Measure M- Guest Post By Jeff Cox


 Sonoma County farmers, ranchers, and grape growers are known around the world for the quality of our organically grown food. Genetically modified food puts all that in jeopardy. Here’s why. Let’s start by laying out exactly what we’re talking about.

What exactly is a genetically modified organism (GMO) anyway?

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Petaluma Argus Courier and Sonoma Index Tribune Endorse Measure M

Citizens for Healthy Farms and Families want to thank the Petaluma Argus Courier and the Sonoma Index Tribune for endorsing Yes on Measure M , which will be on the November 8th ballot.  Mark Squire, Albert Straus, Sam Coturri, and Karen Hudson met with the Editors of the Argus Courier and Index Tribune for an editorial board presentation. We had a wonderful discussion which concluded in receiving the endorsements of both papers.

Barn Dance on Oct. 1st at Tara Firma Farm

Ya'll Are Invited to Come on Down to Tara Firma Farm on October 1, 2016  to Support Measure M, and Protect Our Family Farms From Genetic Contamination.  Kick up your feet to the Music of Evie Ladin.

Please RSVP at our website:



Slow Food Sonoma County North Endorsed

Slow Food Sonoma County North has just joined Slow Food Russian River as our newest endorser.  A special thank you for your support and desire to help Measure M win at the polls.

Enterprise Vineyard Just Endorsed

We are so pleased to announce that Enterprise Vineyards in Sonoma County has just endorsed. Please stop by and visit their tasting room.

Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria have Endorsed Measure M, a 2016 Ballot Initiative

Friday, August 12 th, Graton Rancheria Tribal Council voted to endorse, Measure M, our 2016 Ballot Initiative that will prohibit raising and growing genetically engineered organisms in Sonoma County. We want to thank them for their overwhelming support and generous $30,000 donation to the campaign.

Measure M will protect our farms, pastures, and native plants from contamination by genetically engineered pollen transfer. Pollen is carried by the wind, pollinators, and on the fur of animals and can't be contained when plants are grown in open fields.  

It will preserve our local agricultural heritage, rivers, streams native plants and animals for future generations.

Thank-you Graton Rancheria Tribal Council for your endorsement and generous $30,000 donation.

Citizens for Healthy Farms and Families



Japan, South Korea block certain U.S. wheat varieties over GMO concerns: USDA

By P.J. Huffstutter | CHICAGO

Japan and South Korea have both taken steps to block certain imports of U.S. wheat after unapproved genetically-modified (GMO) plants from Monsanto Co seeds were found growing in Washington state, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Monday.

Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said it will suspend purchases of all Western White wheat from the United States for food use, and all purchases of Western White wheat from the U.S. West Coast, but not from the Gulf, for feed use until it can start testing incoming shipments, according to the USDA.

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Genetically modified golden rice falls short on lifesaving promises

Heralded on the cover of Time magazine in 2000 as a genetically modified (GMO) crop with the potential to save millions of lives in the Third World, Golden Rice is still years away from field introduction and even then, may fall short of lofty health benefits still cited regularly by GMO advocates, suggests a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Close to Home: Making this area a GMO Free Zone

There is a grass-roots movement afoot in Sonoma County to join our neighbors to the north and south in creating a coastal GMO free zone. Volunteers for the group Citizens for Healthy Farms and Families can be spotted all over the county collecting signatures to qualify the Sonoma County Transgenic Contamination Prevention Ordinance for the ballot in November.

This ordinance would prohibit the “propagation, cultivation, raising or growing of genetically engineered organisms in Sonoma County.”

Roundup-ready, genetically engineered crops (corn) and grasses (alfalfa, blue grass and fescue) are already moving into Sonoma County. New crops are awaiting approval. This ban on genetically engineered crops is needed in order to protect Sonoma County organic and conventional agriculture from contamination by genetically engineered plant pollen. Without this protection, our families, water and wildlife will continue to suffer from negative health and environmental effects associated with increased Roundup herbicide spraying.

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