Ensure clean food

There is not a single long-term study of the health impacts of GMOs and Monsanto or other Bio Tech giants funded the studies available

I am a consumer, mother and grandmother and I deeply value my right to have access to clean food. I am passionate about this beautiful planet I call home and I am committed, heart and soul to doing what I can to ensure that I leave her healthy and whole so that the generations that follow will continue to benefit from the bounty she has to offer. So yes, I am very emotional about clean food!

As a parent and grandparent, I am concerned that there is not a single long-term study of the health impacts of GMO?s and Monsanto or other Bio Tech giants funded the studies available. This seems highly suspect to me. How can we suggest that there is no long-term health impact when there is no long-term study to verify this. The concern is that the novel proteins produced in GMOs are like nothing our bodies have ever seen. There is the potential for allergic reactions and long term responses like kidney and liver issues as our bodies try to detoxify these alien proteins.

It also worries me that the same agency that mandates certified organic farmers produce only non-genetically modified product is poised to approve the sale of GE Alfalfa in Canada. This will make it virtually impossible for many organic farmers to remain organic. Unlike other GE crops, Alfalfa is a perennial crop that is pollinated by bees. There is no way to prevent organic alfalfa from cross-pollinating with GE alfalfa. Alfalfa is a primary source of feed for dairy and cattle farmers, making it virtually impossible for these farmers to ensure that their product remains certified organic.

Nearly one hundred years ago man discovered penicillin. For many decades, we believed that penicillin was a panacea for many of our health concerns. Thirty years ago doctors prescribed antibiotics like candy and we as consumer were thrilled to take them.

Mother nature had something else in mind and the result of our over use of antibiotics is a proliferation of antibiotic resistant super bugs. This example should be a call to use caution when it comes to GMOs.

As human beings we may think that we have it figured out, but all to often nature has a different idea. She demonstrated this with antibiotics and she is beginning to demonstrate this with the advent of herbicide resistant weeds and pesticide resistant insects.

I am heartened to note that in British Columbia there are already 13 jurisdictions that have resolved to be GE free zones.

I am also thrilled to see that in many of those jurisdictions the needs of non-organic farmers are supported. The AVICC (Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities) met April 13th and agreed to ask the Minister of Agriculture for BC to put forward a resolution to make Vancouver Island a GE free zone.

It is incredible to see that so many of our local leaders are ready to take their place on the right side of history. As a passionate consumer, I whole-heartedly support them.

This letter is about standing for a clean, organic and non-genetically engineered food supply. As a consumer, I continue to invest my food dollar with local, organic farmers whenever possible and I use my voice to ensure that my right to have access to clean food is maintained now and into the future for generations to come.

Cheryl Levine

Campbell River