Letters to the Editor

LETTER: GE-free BC will be too hard to enforce

It is unfortunate that our current MP and the UBCM are calling for a GE-free BC as they have chosen to ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus on the safety and benefits of the present day genetically engineered (GE) products.

I don’t understand how certain people will believe in the broad scientific consensus on climate change, but won’t believe the same broad scientific consensus on the safety of genetically engineered products.

It seems that ideology is obscuring the scientific facts.

One can find scientists who will tell you that evolution and human induced climate change are not true, which is similar to finding the small minority of scientists that will proclaim with no scientific evidence that GE products are dangerous for humanity.

Inserting a beneficial gene into a seed is a technique that is not owned by big corporate interests. Monsanto is not the owner of this technology.

It is a mistake to associate an important technological advance with only big corporate business. There are many universities and non-profits that are working with this biotechnology to advance a sustainable future that will allow farmers to save seed and grow food in a rapidly changing climate.

The American Medical Association, the US National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, the European Commission, Health Canada, the World Health Organization (WHO) and every other respected organization that has examined the 25 years  of scientific evidence have come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from present GE crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods modified by other plant improvement techniques.

When managed properly, GE crops can enable intensification of agriculture. GE crops can grow more food on smaller amounts of land with less pesticide. Runoff from agriculture is the largest source of water pollution, lowering pesticide use represents the largest single environmental benefit of GE crops.

With climate change, genetic engineering gives farmers new seeds that have been engineered for a rapidly changing landscape.

Genetic engineering for food crops is a very powerful tool that can reduce the environmental impact of food production. Genetic engineering is also a technique used to make life saving medicines such as insulin, hepatitis vaccines, blood clot medicines and interferon.

I wonder how our well educated politicians will implement a GE free BC? Will there be border police stopping canola oil, insulin, citric acid and fructose from coming into BC? Will one get fined for eating corn chips? Maybe there will be a new crime culture developed to smuggle in xanthum gum salad dressing.

Here in BC, ideology and ignorance is trumping the broad scientific consensus on the safety and benefits of our present day GE products. And I thought it was only the Harper government that was anti-science.

 

Nina George

 

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