Can BC Go GE Free? Groups Rally as Union of BC Municipalities set to vote on Sept 18/19 at AGM
Thousands of people across the province who are concerned about genetically engineered (GE, also often called GM or genetically modified) foods and crops are rallying to support a resolution calling for a GE Free BC that will be debated at the Vancouver AGM of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).
“This is a monumental opportunity for our municipalities and the province to stop GE crops from irreparably harming the future of farming and food in BC,” said Teresa Lynne of the non-profit volunteer-run Society for a GE Free BC. “Municipal councilors have an incredibly important decision to make and we are asking them to choose precaution for the sake of all BC residents.”
On September 18 or 19, our elected officials will vote on a resolution: … that UBCM ask the British Columbia government to legislate the prohibition of importing, exporting and growing plants and seeds containing genetically engineered DNA, and raising GE animals within BC, and to declare through legislation that the province of BC is a GE Free area in respect to all plant and animal species. The ban would not affect processed or prepared foods containing GM/GE ingredients, and has no bearing on medical applications of genetic engineering.
The motion was brought forward in January 2013 by Metchosin Councilor, Moralea Milne. Metchosin is a member of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC), which declared itself GE Free in 2012.
Already 62 municipalities in BC have declared themselves GE Free Zones, yet many areas of the province are still left unprotected from the potential risks of GE crops.
“There are many misconceptions and fears around GE crops, but the bottom line is that there are still many questions surrounding the safety of genetically engineered foods and human health,” said Laura Yates of the Greenpeace Vancouver Local Group. “Restriction of the sale or trade of GE seeds, plants, fruits, vegetables, and animals in BC will help ensure we have non-GE food options in the future.”
Supporters of the UBCM motion have already gathered over 5000 signatures on a petition that they will present on September 18. Hundreds are expected to gather outside the Vancouver Convention Centre on September 18, from 7:00am – 10:00am, the site of the UBCM meeting. The Society for a GE Free BC and the Greenpeace Vancouver Local Group are inviting people to rally to support the motion.
Concerned citizens are also encouraged to express their support for this resolution by calling or writing their municipal council immediately and request they vote YES at the UBCM. For more information on the rally on September 18, please visit: http://gefreebc.wordpress.com
This article is a press release from Greenpeace Vancouver.