We say NO to GMO apples in BC!  

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In just two weeks, over two thousand people have signed the following petition:

To the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, in Legislature Assembled:

1. We, the undersigned petitioners, do hereby register our opposition to the unconfined environmental release of genetically modified apples in British Columbia.

2. We join with the BC Fruit Tree Association to oppose the commercial release of the “Arctic Apple”, which has been genetically modified to prevent its flesh from browning.

3. We respectfully request that the BC Minister of Agriculture take all steps possible to prevent the commercial planting of this crop.

Thank you to everyone who signed!

Today I will deliver this petition to the BC Legislature, as well as directly to the Minister of Agriculture. I’ve also formally submitted a redacted version (names removed for privacy) to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Over fifteen hundred of those signatories also left comments, many of them very thoughtful and passionate explanations of why they oppose genetically engineered apples. I’ve included a few examples below and you can read them all here.

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I own a certified organic farm and I know the introduction of GMO crops puts organic farmers at risk from contamination. There is substantial, growing opposition to all GM crops and products. Health risks to humans, animals and the environment are also a major concern. GM industries know a growing number of people don't want to eat GMO, so they refuse to label their products. BC will destroy its markets for non-GMO apples, as well as the organic apple industry. There will be no benefits that can outweigh the damage you will do to your apple industry, if you allow the introduction of GM apples.
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The position of the tree fruit sector should be respected.
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There are serious consequences to GMO and we have no proof of the safety for future generations with these tampered with foods. Keep them out of our agriculture at all costs!!
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There are apples varieties which do not brown so there is no need to use a GMO apple for this reason.
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They claim there is little chance of genetic drift. Even a little chance is too much. Apples are pollinated by bees and bees have about a four mile foraging range, so there is the potential for cross-pollination to occur with any orchards planted within four miles of Arctic Apples. Unlikely, maybe. Impossible, no. What is impossible is removing genetic pollution once it's out there. There is no recalling genetically modified organisms once they've made they're way into the gene pool. Apples are awesome. Why mess with them?

I will continue to press the BC Minister of Agriculture to show leadership on this issue and do all I can in opposition. Thank you very much for your support.

Lana

Lana Popham
MLA Saanich South and Opposition Critic for Agriculture

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at Thursday, May 31, 2012 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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