Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Make BC GE Free

     Once a year British Columbia municipalities get together to chew the fat and this year Metchosin, which is  "GE Free", is presenting a proposal that would ban Genetically engineered food products (crops and animals) from B.C. municipalities.

     This is the 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 BC is a GE Free area in respect to all plant and animal species."

     Some of the risks associated with GE food products are the creation of "superweeds" or "superpests" immune to herbicides or pesticides; the spread of ge crops compromising the natural genetic makeup of non ge crops; the patented ownership of ge crops and monopolization of our food production by the agrochemical corporations (i.e. Monsanto); lack of regulation and testing and subsequent health risks to consumers; environmental pollution of ge bacteria strains; most GE seeds contain systemic, neonicotinoid pesticides which have both lethal and sublethal effects on all pollinators ...  In this video Thierry Vrain, a soil biologist does a better job than I at describing the issues associated with genetically engineered crops and animals. 

     Much of our food in British Columbia is imported from the United States whose dependence on genetically modified seeds is growing dramatically.

America’s Growing GMO Seed Dependence
404 million: Approximate number of acres of U.S. cropland.

172 million: Number of acres of GMO crops in the U.S., nearly double its nearest competitor (Brazil at 90 million).

94: Percentage of U.S. soy crops that currently contain GMOs.

54: Percentage of U.S. soybeans in 2000 that contained GMOs, up from 42% in 1998 and only 7% in 1996

90: Percentage of U.S. cotton crops that contain GMOs.

61: Percentage of U.S. cotton crops that contained GMOs in 2000, up from 42% in 1998, and 15% in 1996.

88:  Percentage of U.S. corn crops that contain GMOs.

25: Percentage of U.S. corn containing GMOs in 2000, about the same as 1998 (26%), but up from 1.5% in 1996.

90: Percentage of U.S. canola crops that contain GMOs.

95: Percentage of U.S. sugar beet crops that contain GMOs.

57: Percentage of American sugar production that comes from sugar beets.

GMOs: Fueling our Factory Farms and Automobiles
98: Percentage of U.S. GMO soy used for animal feed and fuel production (~70% to feed and ~25% to biofuels).

71: Percentage of U.S. GMO corn that is used for animal feed (40%) and fuel production (31%).

Approximately 67: Percentage of world’s GMO canola seed oil used in animal feed.

12.2 million: Number of hectares of GMO crops (nearly 10 percent of the global total) used in the U.S. for biofuels in 2008.

The Winners: Biotech, Agrochemical and Pesticide Industries
$13.5 billion: Monsanto’s net sales in 2012 (largest biotech seed company in the world), up from $5.5 billion in 2004.

$34.8 billion: Dupont’s net sales in 2012, up from $8 billion.

$56.8 billion: Dow Chemical’s net sales in 2012, up from $40.1 billion.

$14.2 billion: Syngenta’s net sales in 2012, up from $7.3 billion in 2004.

Compiled by Zack Kaldveer, assistant media director for the Organic Consumers Association.

     The producers of GMO's have cited a few extraordinary benefits of genetic modification like reduced agrochemical use (pesticides, fungicides and herbicides) and substantially increased harvest to better feed our growing population.  These marketing myths have been found to be completely untrue.

     Actively participating in determining the source and quality of your food is not being a "radical" but rather a responsible member of society.  What is more important than the food that we and our children consume? Please write your mayor and council (letter to municipal representatives) and sign this petition letting them know of your support for a GE Free B.C.
     For more information on genetically modified crops and animals go to Earth Open SourceOrganic Consumers Association and Society for a GE Free B.C or listen to the expert below.

P.S.  Grand Forks has recently become the 62nd GE Free Zone in B.C.  Congratulations! (GE Free Zones in B.C.).


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