Genetic engineering a concern

Spallumcheen is rooted on the farm, but new agricultural technology is harvesting concern.

Council has asked its environmental stewardship and agricultural committee to review the potential impacts of genetically modified seeds.

“It’s scary when you look at it,” said Mayor Will Hansma.

“They (committee) can have the discussion with the agriculture community. It’s a good time to consider policies about this.”

The Sustainable Environment Network Society has asked Spallumcheen to become a genetically engineered-free zone.

“It sends a clear message that you don’t support genetic engineering,” said Huguette Allen, SENS spokesperson, adding that the township would only indicate its opposition but there would be no bylaws.

Allen says genetically engineered corn, canola, soy and sugar beets are already being grown in Canada, and birds and the wind can transport such seeds to farms where genetic engineering is not wanted.

“They can spread and breed with natural organisms. They can’t be controlled,” she said, adding that genetically modified plants also require use of pesticides which can lead to air and water pollution.

Allen also claims that there could be links between such plants and public health.

“It’s an experiment gone wrong,” she said.

The committee will provide a report to council on its findings.

“We don’t understand the impact genetically modified products can have on us on a daily basis,” said Hansma.


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