Committee tackles genetic modification
The prospect of genetically modified plants taking root in the North Okanagan has local politicians scrambling.
The Regional District of North Okanagan board decided Wednesday to form an ad hoc committee to review the impact of genetically modified organisms.
“This is an opportunity to get the facts on the table,” said director Rick Fairbairn.
“There is a lot of innuendo out there. We have a responsibility to our communities to get the correct information out there and for people purchasing food to make a decision on what’s safe to consume.”
The Sustainable Environment Network Society wants RDNO to strongly discourage the release into the environment, use or sale of live, self-reproducing, genetically engineered organisms within the area until the long-term consequences of such products and organisms are fully understood.
“We don’t know how much GMO is in the area,” said director Mike Macnabb.
“By setting up a committee, we can get information and have something to talk about.”
However, opposition came from directors Mike Gavinchuk and Wayne Lippert.
“We have no control over what these people want us to do,” said Gavinchuk of SENS.
For Lippert, he questioned the process.
“It’s good to be informed but look at the groups already in the community that do this work already. They can give us the information,” he said.
Director Buffy Baumbrough, though, said there is a need for RDNO to establish its own committee so a fair and balanced approach is taken with the issue.
“The formation of a committee provides an opportunity for all perspectives to be brought together.”