Gabriola should be declared a genetically modified organism (GMO) free zone, asserts the Agricultural Advisory Commission (AAC)
At their Tuesday meeting at the WI Hall, AAC Secretary Eric Veale noted that a number of communities have recently declared themselves “GMO-free zones”. He acknowledged that such a declaration can’t be policed, but thought that it would cost nothing, and if “we put it out there, more people can investigate and make their own choices”.
Commissioner Sal Dominelli asked if the declaration would mean that Gabriola farmers are not allowed to sell GMO crops. Veale said his actual proposal was that the Local Trust Committee provide an advisory statement in the Official Community Plan that Gabriola Island would work towards becoming a GMO-free zone. He said this would “include the recommendation that no GMO fruit trees, shrubberies, GM vegetables, GM commodity crops, and any and all field tests for medical and experimental GM products” be allowed.
Veale said he’d asked a number of people what they would think if Gabriola was a GM free zone, “and they all responded very positively”.
“In all probability”, Veale added, there may be people growing GMO crops on the island. Dominelli said he thought some potato growers on the big island are growing GMO plants. AAC members said Duncan and Comox farmers are growing GMO sweet corn and silage for their dairy cows.
Trustee Gisele Rudischer wondered if the Regional District of Nanaimo has looked at declaring themselves GMO-free. She said they might be interested in doing so. Veale said they should raise the possibility with Regional Director Howard Houle.
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