This is in response to Bill Grahn’s letter published Oct. 4th entitled “Farmers deserve to be heard too”.
It is wrong to pit farmers against farmers by suggesting that Bee SAFE does not represent farmers.
What they have been asking for has been fully supported by the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) precisely because Bee SAFE aims at protecting organic agriculture, a way to grow food that is safe for the bees, for us and the rest of the natural world.
All organic agriculture is threatened by GM crops. Already almost nobody is able to guarantee that corn and soy are organic because of widespread contamination.
Canola is next to impossible to grow organically on the Prairies or here in B.C. because of the contamination and if GM alfalfa gets planted here that will spell the end of organic milk and meat products of any kind.
If there were only one crop which was allowed to be GMO’d there would be limited impact to organic farmers and consumer reaction would be much less.
The reality is different however, as the roll out of major crops being GMO’d continues to grow and could conceivably include most every major crop.
There already has been financial hardship to both conventional and organic growers of crops like flax due to illegal contamination and currently there is a court case in the United States because of contamination of spring wheat.
If every country in the world was open to GMOs and the consumers around the world were happy with GMs it would be a different case to comment upon.
The problem is that a majority of consumers here in BC and a larger majority here in the Okanagan do not want their food modified.
It is getting increasingly more difficult as an organic grower to meet that demand without being compromised by a GM crop next door.
organic grower and owner of Pilgrims’ Produce