Backing the ban

Resident concerned about genetically modified organisms

There is a movement underway to ban genetically modified organisms in the Regional District of North Okanagan.

I would like to voice my support of that movement.

Although there may, as yet, not be any scientific proof for detrimental effects on human health after GMO containing foods are consumed, genetically engineered plants are biological organisms that cross-pollinate with neighbouring non-GMO plants of the same or related species, and thus compromise the integrity of organic or non-GMO growers who have to guarantee their products to be free of GMOs.

Also, GMOs cross-pollinate with related wild species growing nearby, and pass their engineered genes on to wild plants.

But the bigger threat is that we don’t know the far-reaching consequences of tampering with the genes of our plant world.

Selective breeding has been practiced for thousands of years, but only within genes of the same species, whereas genetic engineering jumps the species barrier and mixes genes that are totally foreign to each other, like splicing a fish gene into strawberries to make them more frost resistant.

In natural evolution, everything influences everything else, and everything is influenced by everything else.

Species evolve in concert, in harmony, with each other, for the benefit of not only the individual but also the whole.

This is a wholistic process that cannot be duplicated in a lab. Genetically engineering some plants for the benefit of a few people or organizations violates the wholistic principle of natural evolution.

We mess with nature at our peril!

GMO labelling is not yet mandatory in Canada, but GMO apples are a concern for the B.C. Fruit Growers Association.

Banning all GMOs in the Regional District of North Okanagan would ensure consumers that all locally grown produce is GMO free, and equally give a boost to local producers.

For all of the above reasons, I support a ban on GMOs in the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Hermann Harlos

Vernon