Farmers deserve to be heard too

Resident says farmers should be allowed to decide what crops are used

Regarding the story in the Sept. 13 edition of The Morning Star, “Anti GMO crowd plants message at meeting.”

I do hope the regional agricultural advisory committee as well as our Regional District of North Okanagan representatives have the sense to look past the comments of Huguette Allen and keep the best interests of farmers in mind.

There is nothing illegal, immoral or unethical about the use of GMO seed.

Since ancient times, man has continued to alter the genetics of plants, albeit by a much slower process of natural selection, by saving the hardier, more productive seeds, and in more recent times, by plant crossbreeding.

GMO technology has merely speeded up the process.

This provides farmers with another tool to help them continue to increase production of a reliable food source as demand increases throughout the world.

Thus, it should be the farmers who decide whether GMO production is accepted in the North Okanagan.

Of course that would leave the decision to accept GMO’s in the hands of what Huguette Allen calls “corporate agriculture.”

She uses that term quite freely in The Morning Star article.

So what is corporate agriculture?

I’m sure Ms. Allen would like you to believe that corporate agriculture means huge multinational corporations are taking over our farms.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The reality is that almost all of today’s farms throughout North America are still family farms.

Certainly farms have got larger over the years as have most businesses. But they are still, by and large, operated by one or two families working together.

I would guess that many of them are corporations, but anyone who has or does own a business will tell you there are many tax advantages to being incorporated versus operating as a sole proprietorship.

In closing, people such as Ms. Allen or the Bee Safe organization have no right to dictate how farmers operate their business. And as long as society continues to demand a safe, reliable and low cost source of food, farmers will continue to use whatever technology is available to do so.


Bill Grahn