On Tuesday evening, September 20th the Farmers Alliance for Integrated Resources (FAIR) hosted a forum in conjunction with the Colorado Farm bureau and BIO that featured the two existing Boulder County Commissioners, Deb Gardner and Elise Jones, along with their two opponents seeking their seats, Kevin Sipple and Paul Danish. Commissioners Gardner and Jones made the controversial decision to initiate a ban on GMO production on Boulder county open space which is set to begin in 2017. Their opponents repeatedly pointed out throughout the evening’s event that that decision was unscientific, standing in the way of real improvements at curtailing climate change and the result of pandering to a small group of vocal activists. Both Mr. Danish and Sipple have vowed to reverse the planned ban as one of their first lines of business if elected. Both candidates believe farming practices are best managed by the farmers, not through burdensome, non-science based legislation. Commissioners Jones and Gardner commissioned a study of farming practices and their impacts on the Boulder county environment. When the study found GMOs had a significantly smaller footprint than conventional farming and organic had the biggest carbon footprint, they tried to first pressure the staff to change the findings and later tried to bury the report. The FAIR farmers were able to obtain the report after a legal action under Colorado’s open records request system. ┬áSeveral Western Sugar growers are members of FAIR, including Paul, Vickie (pictured above at far right) and Scott Schlagel who all helped to facilitate the event.

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