UBCM can’t stomach genetically engineered foods
The Union of B.C. Municipalities passes a resolution Thursday Sept. 19, 2013 to ask the province to effectively ban genetically modified foods in the province. (FOTOLIA)
Municipal politicians rejected genetically engineered food by a narrow margin at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver Thursday.
The resolution, brought up by the Vancouver Island community of Metchosin, called for a resolution to ask the province to ban plants and animals produced by using genetic engineering.
According to Health Canada, genetically engineered foods are those that have been developed from a process not previously used in food or had their genes manipulated.
Teresa Lynne of the Society for a GE Free BC said the resolution being passed is in step with public views on the issue.
“We actually believe it is a grassroots effort from the bottom up that can make a difference,” she said. “We’ve had so much response from the people in B.C. backing this.”
Lynne maintains such crops haven’t been proven safe and said, despite many places fighting to label the foods for consumers, her group wanted them banned to avoid cross breeding with non-GE crops and animals.
Reg Ens of the BC Agriculture Council said the issue is “complex and emotional” and one it is watching.
“Our board has discussed it and looked at it,” he said. “We don’t have an official statement or an official statement on it because we probably have five or six different perspectives on the issue itself.”
Ens said the need for regulation is clear as technology is forever changing.
While the resolution may not make much of a difference as provincial agriculture minister Pat Pimm pointed out, such regulations are Ottawa’s responsibility.
"I will certainly share the results of the vote and summary of the debate with the federal minister, as it is the federal government’s jurisdiction to approve or deny foods for production in Canada," Pimm said in an email.