The presentation that BeeSAFE gave to Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) brought out two key points that should not be overlooked. They are of the greatest importance with the debate on genetically modified organisms (GMO) and conventional farming.
The first key point is in reference to the comments made by directors Juliette Cunningham and Howie Cyr (The Morning Star, Jan. 18). Both said that they need to look at the pros and the cons and that there needs to be a balance of those for and those against.
This would be accomplished by the newly appointed agricultural advisory committee (AAC).
BeeSAFE had opposed the structure of the agricultural advisory committee over a year ago because it is heavily peopled by industrial GMO farmers and has very little room for organic or small growers.
As well, no where among the committee’s objectives was there any reference to sustainability or reducing pesticides or aiming for food security, and nothing at all about leading towards a healthier, more sustainable, agricultural system.
Unfortunately, conventional or organic farming and GMO farming can not coexist. Scientific journals, for example: GMO Myths and Truths, explain you cannot have one near the other without cross-contamination.
There is no possibility of coexistence without contamination.
If you are a non-GMO farmer and your crops-cross pollinate with GMO crops, you can be sued.
This is why entire countries and some municipalities in Canada and B.C. are banning them.
It can not be said enough that there is no grey area with cross-contamination. It has happened, it will happen and the only way to prevent it is to ban GMO crops from being sold and planted in our area.
The second key point is that by RDNO and some municipalities not making a decision and letting this once again fall to the wayside, they are very much making a decision.
It opens up our area to factory farms, large agribusiness and the road to loss of food sovereignty.
Of all of the problems facing us today, GMO should be considered the most important.
All of you, especially the people elected to represent us should read GMO Myths and Truths and Failure to Yield. Both can be found on the web. These are scientific, unbiased reports written by well-known and respected scientists.
We all have a right to grow and purchase food that is not contaminated. GMO takes that ability away from us. GMO leads to loss of revenue and a sick environment.
(Author/farmer) Joel Salatin said, “The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.”