Two North Okanagan communities are speaking out against genetically engineered crops, but there will be no ban.
Regional District of North Okanagan staff were instructed Wednesday to prepare amendments to the official community plan in rural Lumby and Cherryville that reference genetically modified organisms.
“We are not saying GMOs are good or bad. We are just trying to reflect the community’s vision,” said Eugene Foisy, Cherryville director, adding that the regional district does not have the authority to ban farmers from using genetically engineered crops.
Foisy and rural Lumby director Rick Fairbairn are proceeding with OCP changes as a result of a number of residents in both jurisdictions expressing concerns about GMOs.
“It’s a very important subject and we’re looking for some way to satisfying the concerns of the citizens,” said Fairbairn.
Opposition to amending the OCP came from Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director, who says such a move is premature while the regional district’s agricultural advisory committee is reviewing the situation.
RDNO has also been under pressure from Bee Safe, a Lumby organization, to take action on GMOs.
“This sets a precedent for any group that has an interest with a bias that they can push public policy,” said Macnabb of changing the OCP.