The Tribune against Measure Q

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The Tribune against Measure Q

The Tribune posted an editorial stating their opposition to Measure Q on Saturday, October 16th, 2004. It describes the debate over the measure “boiling down to one sentence: ‘It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow genetically engineered organisms in San Luis Obispo County.” The Tribune claims that “Measure Q is a poorly written ordinance with unintended consequences of banning research on life-saving medicines.” It begins with an effective strategy of stating arguments of the proponents and responding to each, but continues with an unconvincing list of reasons to vote against Measure Q and a conclusion that weakly ties the article together.

To open the editorial, the author questions proponent’s credibility. “Proponents say the ban would give county farmers protection from GE crops until all risks are known,” is argued by the statement, “The farming community by and large says that the ban will hurt them competitively if or when they decide to use GE seeds.” The supporters of Measure Q are questioned as to where they are getting their information if the people they are “protecting” feel the ordinance will hurt them. This is a successful strategy to convince the reader that advocates of the ordinance are untrustworthy.

The article supports its claim that Measure Q is a badly written ordinance by discussing the use of the broad term “organism” in the measure. It includes arguments from two credible sources, San Luis Obispo attorney Robin Baggett and the Washington D.C law firm of Arent Fox. The two agree that the use of the word “organism” implies both laboratory research as well as crops, therefore both would be banned. Baggett, a l...

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... the measure would cost millions of dollars for enforcement. Added sentences explaining each argument set forth by the author of the article would have strengthened the argument against proponent rebuttals. For example, “Measure Q would prohibit development in SLO County of medicines like insulin used by diabetics, and treatments such as for cancer, AIDS/HIV, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease”[2] could have been included to explain why the banning of lab research would be a problem. I feel that my decision to vote against the measure was the right choice, but I do not think that this article could convince me if I was undecided or for Measure Q.

[1] The Facts about GE. Yes! on Measure Q Health. 30 Nov. 2004


[2] Measure Q goes too Far. Citizens for a Sustainable Future-No on Q. 30

Nov. 2004 <>.

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