The B.C. tree-fruit industry is facing a critical threat because Okanagan Specialty Fruits is looking to have its genetically engineered (GE) “Arctic” apple approved for planting in B.C.
The organic tree-fruit growers and others are opposed, as this will end the viability of growing organic apples in the Okanagan.
In 2012, the Union of BC Municipalities passed a resolution asking the government to prohibit the planting of any GE plant material.
The Ministry of Agriculture acknowledged the risks to the environment and human health. They also recognized the impact GE contamination will have on B.C. tree-fruit exports given that many countries refuse to accept GE foods.
There is extensive evidence to show that genetic engineering negatively impacts the integrity of organic agriculture and has many adverse risks to human health.
This technology permits the patenting of life allowing the concentration of our food supply in a few corporate hands.
The use of antibiotics in the GE process is contributing to our increasing resistance to antibiotics.
There is ample justification for concern.
The province promised to explore the issues and the UBCM resolution.
I call on our government to honour this promise.
Phil Harrison, Council of Canadians, Surrey-Langley-White Rock chapter