in case you missed it | Saying yes to GMOs



Saying yes to GMOs

So only two out of the nine members of the county’s Cropland Policy Advisory Group are willing to rule out the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on our publicly funded open space.

Hmm, there seems to be something wrong with this picture. We thought this was Boulder County, which has a reputation for being, like, green and sustainable and stuff.

But as the outlying rural areas like to remind us, Boulder County is more than the city of Boulder. It ain’t all liberal hippies; we’ve got us some rednecks, too.

It’s curious that two other CPAG members, toward the end of the group’s Aug. 17 meeting, started talking about how they might like to see a gradual reduction in the use of GMOs after all. They stopped short of calling for an outright ban, as organic farmers Ewell Culbertson and Richard Andrews did. But Emily Prisco and Jeannette Hillery seemed open to the idea of decreasing our use of GMOs on county open space. Doesn’t it follow, then, that after a certain number of years of reductions, the number of acres on which GMOs are planted would approach zero? Why not cut to the chase and just ban the damned things outright as Culbertson sagely suggested?

Rather than beating around the GMO bush, Prisco and Hillery could grow a backbone. But even if the four banded together, they’d still need a fifth vote to prevail.

Remember folks, we’re not talking about a ban on private lands — it’s a free country and to a large extent you can do what you want on your own property. This is about what we want on those thousands of acres of open space that we paid for.

For information on how to contact your representatives on this group, which was appointed by the county commissioners, visit

No account for you

We learned this week that the only bank in the state still openly doing business with medical marijuana dispensaries is discontinuing that practice.

Colorado Springs State Bank (CSSB) sent a letter to its account holders in the MMJ business on Aug. 16 saying that “public confidence is a key element” in both the operation and regulation of the bank, and that a review by its regulator, legal counsel, law enforcement and taxation agencies has convinced it to no longer serve the MMJ community, effective Sept. 30.

Some dispensary owners who live along the Front Range had become so desperate for banking services that they were driving their cash down to Colorado Springs, and at one point there was even talk about CSSB placing drop boxes in Denver and Boulder.

Again, the powers that be speak with forked tongue. On the one hand, the state wants dispensaries to be totally transparent, documenting their every trip to the bathroom in writing. But they can’t even provide regulators with legitimate financial statements if no bank will touch them.

It’s a public safety issue when you force dispensaries to keep their cash on site or under the mattress. And there is a tremendous untapped market for a bank that is willing to do business with these folks.

What the frack?

During a keynote speech at a conference sponsored by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar introduced a new chemical cocktail to assuage public concerns that chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking,” are dangerous.

In fracking, water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock underground to break up the rock and free trapped pockets of natural gas. People living near fracking operations have complained of well water contamination and other problems related to the chemicals, which remain in the ground and can seep into ground water.

Although the oil and gas industry has long maintained that fracking is safe, they’ve apparently been busy trying to make it safer. Lesar reportedly held up a container of the company’s new fracking fluid and was challenged by a fellow executive to prove how safe it was by taking a drink. When Lesar balked, the unnamed executive followed his own advice and took a swig.

No word on whether this particular cocktail was stirred or shaken.

Gas and oil pundits said the executive’s actions prove that Halliburton has faith in the safety its new product. But all it really proves is how far some people are willing to go to make a buck.