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GMOs sprout Cherryville debate
More than a hundred people showed up at the Cherryville Community Hall Tuesday to discuss genetically modified crops.
The event was organized by Carla Vierke, co-founder of Bee SAFE Monashees, a volunteer organization started by Vierke, Jane Emlyn and Huguette Allen.
“Cherryville has a history of taking charge of its environment” said Vierke.
“It’s up to us on whether we let GMO contaminate our crops, or stop it so we can keep control of our seeds and crops.”
Vierke says there is a concern because pollen travels and plants can be cross-pollinated,
“In Germany they passed a law allowing farmers to sue GMO farmers that contaminate their crops. That’s why they don’t grow GMO there,” she said.
“In Canada, it’s the farmer who suffers the contamination who is sued by the corporations.”
The main concern at the meeting was whether passing a resolution banning genetically modified crops would have enough teeth.
“The resolution to ban GMO crops sends a clear message to all farmers and gives us the tool we need to not tolerate these crops,” said Allen.
Although the Regional District of North Okanagan has now established an agricultural advisory committee to consider the issue, residents at the meeting were urged to take their own action.
“We are vulnerable now and need to protect ourselves against GMO crops before GM alfalfa and wheat are grown.”
Cherryville residents have until Feb. 28 to cast a ballot on possibly banning GM crops at either Frank’s Store or the Cherryville Emporium.