Many residents have expressed concern about genetically modified organisms in the North Okanagan.

Regional politicians won’t speak out against GMOs

Ottawa will be asked to regulate, test and assess the safety of genetically modified foods in Canada.

North Okanagan politicians want assurances genetically modified organisms are safe, but they won’t wade into the contentious debate of whether such products should be used.

Despite significant pressure to speak out against genetically modified crops, the Regional District of North Okanagan decided Wednesday only to ask the federal government to establish the appropriate agency to regulate, test and assess the safety of GMO foods in Canada.

“The regional district has not authority to take a stance for or against,” said director Eugene Foisy.

Director Rob Sawatzky insisted that RDNO can only ask Ottawa to take action and there is no role for local government to play.

“We don’t have the tools and we don’t have the responsibilities,” he said.

“It’s a mandate of the federal government that’s been dropped in our lap.”

The RDNO board had asked its regional agricultural advisory committee to investigate GMOs and the concerns some residents have about public health, food security and the environment.

However, the advisory committee opted not to make a recommendation and encouraged the regional board to determine any policy direction.

“It’s a political issue and many members of the RAAC are volunteers,” said director Mike Macnabb, who chairs the committee.

The closest that RDNO may come to taking a stance is  amending the official community plan in rural Lumby and Cherryville so it references genetically modified organisms. However, that won’t mean such crops are banned.

“It will only be a motherhood statement because we have no jurisdiction,” said Foisy.

Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes will be asked to represent the interests of the RDNO.


Just Posted

Vernon Vipers stuff Wild on Teddy Bear Toss night

Vipers beat Wild 6-4 in game delayed to clear ice littered with stuffies after Matt Kowalski goal

Make a donation, get a free coffee at Vernon café

Bean to Cup is accepting donated items as part of Project Christmas Elf

WATCH: North Okanagan Knights score teddies for children in OT loss to Osoyoos

Russel Borrett’s early goal triggered the Teddy Bear Toss at Nor-Val Arena Friday night

Vernon Baseball to field high-level teams in spring 2020

Registration for the U18 Triple-A and U13 Double-A teams opens Monday

Vernon candle lighting to show compassion for lost children

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting takes place Sunday, Dec. 8

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were woman

Summerland college operated from 1906 to 1915

Ritchie Hall and Morton Hall were constructed for Okanagan Baptist College

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

South Okanagan volunteer dental clinic donates rotten teeth to good cause

H.E.C.K. recently gifted 47 rotten teeth to a search and rescue group in the area

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Most Read