Voters in Mendocino County, California have approved a measure to make the county the first in the US to ban genetically modified crops and animals.

Despite strong opposition from biotech companies such as Monsanto, the measure to ban the planting of GM crops and the raising of GM livestock in the county was approved on Tuesday night.

“We won! We beat the biotech bullies,” Laura Hamburg, spokesperson for the “Yes on Measure H” campaign, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “The people emerged as victorious. We’re sending Monsanto and the rest of the biotech corporate club packing in Mendocino County.” 

Supporters of biotechnology spent more than US$600,000 in an effort to defeat the measure, while the measure’s supporters raised around $80,000, reported Reuters.

Similar initiatives are being planned in other Californian counties, while in Vermont a bill for a two-year moratorium on planting and growing GM crops is currently pending.