“The seeds of life upon which a free people depend are part of the commons and cannot be patented.”—The Board of Directors, Mendocino Organic Network
Mendocino County became the first GMO Free zone in the Americas when voters banned the growing and cultivation of GMOs in their county in 2004, a project of the Mendocino Organic Network.
Members and Director Adam Gaska and Paula Manolo on their Mendocino Organics Farm Mendocino Renegade* Principles guiding standards for certification The Precautionary Principle will guide all standards and allowable materials. The Renegade label is granted to members who register and sign an affidavit to follow these three guiding principles:
1. Wholesome food is grown and processed using sustainable, non-polluting methods as close as possible to those found in nature. • No artificial inputs in the form of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers • Growing methods that nourish and enrich the soil • Pest controls that are benign to the overall ecosystem • Genetic diversity is maintained, including wild plants and wildlife habitats • No genetically engineered seeds, plants, microorganisms or livestock • Animals raised using the highest standards of welfare • Animal feed that meets the principles of Renegade Network • Use of herbal or homeopathic remedies as first choice wherever possible • Renewable resources of energy used wherever possible • Packaging is recyclable wherever possible
Director Doug Mosel with mini combine harvesting grain in Mendocino County between rows of wine grapes. Mosel created the Mendocino Grain Project and was the campaign co-ordinator for the Measure H GMO Initiative in 2004 (GMO Free Mendocino).
2. Wholesome food is, wherever possible, consumed within a short distance of where it was grown. • Where possible, people should grow at least some of their own food • Close links should be encouraged between growers and consumers • Consumers, retailers and distributors give preference to food grown in their locality 3. Wholesome food is an integral part of life and community, rather than merely a commodity for profit. • Control over food supplies is in the hands of growers and consumers, not corporations • Food crops and growing methods take account of local growing conditions, local culture and local needs • Everyone involved in food production and processing is able to attain a quality of life which meets their basic needs and allows an adequate return and satisfaction from their work • Production, processing and distribution of food are socially just and ecologically responsible
*Mendocino Renegade is a project of Mendocino Organic network and certifies biological farms and businesses in Mendocino County including cattle operations, small farms, orchards, a restaurant and brewery.
Director Els Cooperrider spearheaded the GMO Initiative—Measure H—in 2004. She, her husband and sons created Ukiah Brewing Co., the first certified organic brewpub in the nation.