Monthly Archives: October 2012

Proposition 37

Many of you who follow this blog will also have followed Proposition 37 in California for the mandatory labelling of GE foods, which will be voted on on November 6th.

As there has been lots of media about Proposition 37 and this blog is about BC and Canada, we haven’t been posting on the vote, but if you want more info, go to

Of course biotech companies are pouring in the $ with ads saying vote no, but that’s just to be expected.

If the vote is yes, and it isn’t overturned by legal challenges, then two things will likely happen. The rest of the US will follow suit, and then Canada will do the same. So if you support mandatory labelling and know anyone in California, now is the time.

2 4 D corn close to approval in Canada

2,4-D-resistant field corn, soybeans pass safety tests in Canada

Dow only needs to clear one more hurdle; seeds could be on market by spring

By Ian MacLeod, The Ottawa Citizen October 22, 2012

OTTAWA — Dow Chemical is close to selling controversial corn seed genetically modified to withstand dousing with the herbicide 2,4-D to repel “superweeds” on Canadian farms.
Continue reading

Saanich Council Advisory Committee supports a GE Free zone

Help Saanich become the next GE Free zone in BC.
The Saanich Health Advisory Committee, which advises Council, approved the following motion on the 18th October:

“That the Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee recommends that Saanich Council does not support the use of genetically modified seed crops within the District of Saanich, and that Council write to the federal Minister of Agriculture, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and local MPs in support of the mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.”

Next step Saanich Council, probably on the 19th November, for a final decision. If you live in or near Saanich or know anyone who does, contact local Councillors and let them know you want Saanich to become the 9th GE Free zone in BC

Lucy Sharratt’s tour of BC in November

See below for details, and if you want more info leave a comment or email

CBAN, the Society for GE Free BC and local partners present a tour of community events on GMOs in British Columbia! Please circulate the below event notices. For event posters and flyers, and for further details and event updates please see Please join us if you live in the area and help us promote the events! See you there!

November 7-15 in BC
Community Forums on GM Food

Featuring Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Ottawa.

Wednesday, November 7
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Okanagan College Theatre, Student Services Building, 1000 KLO Road, Kelowna

Presented by: Kelowna Chapter of the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), Society for a GE Free BC, Bee SAFE, Okanagan Greens Society, True Food Foundation.

Langley, BC
Thursday, November 8
7:00pm – 9:00pm
The Fraser River Presentation Theatre, 20338 65th Ave, Langley (Township hall)

Presented by Society for a GE Free BC, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Council of Canadians Surrey-Langley-White Rock
Contact: Bobbie Blair 604-506-5576 or Phil Harrison 604-536-6706

Friday, November 9 – Sunday, November 11
BC Seeds Gathering

Nanaimo, BC
Tuesday, November 13
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Room 109, Bldg 356, Education/Social Sciences, 900 Fifth Street, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo

Presented by: Vitamin House, GE Free Nanaimo, Society for a GE Free BC, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
For more info: Vida 250.668-4124<> or<>

Campbell River, BC
Wednesday, November 14
7:00pm – 9:00pm
NIC/Timberline Theatre, 1685 S. Dogwood

Refreshments provided by Healthyway Natural Foods Market!

Presented by: Healthyway Natural Foods Market, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Society for a GE Free BC
Contact person:<>

Thursday November 15
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Room COR B108, Cornett Building, University of Victoria

Also with Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South and NDP Agriculture Critic.

For all event posters and flyers, and for further details and event updates please see<>

more opposition to the GE apple

Today I was at our local farmer’s market and there was a vendor selling apples and other fruit from the Okanagan. We had a chat about the GE apple and her question was – why would anyone want to do that?

Why indeed? Check out this piece against the GE apple

Almost 450,000 signatures in US saying stop govt ties to Monsanto

Sign the petition telling Obama not to appoint former senior Monsanto staff to the Food and Drug Administration. Stop the revolving door between biotech companies and the US government

Special meeting of Saanich Advisory Committeee about GE crops October 10th

We understand that Mr. Robert Wager, who regularly attends such meetings to speak in favour of GE crops, will be attending. So if you are in the Saanich area please come out and make your presence felt. Over 300 hundred people turned up at the council meeting in Richmond in May to protest GE crops, when  Council there passed a GE Free zone resolution. The Saanich meeting will feed into the decision to be made by Saanich Council later this year.

Special Meeting of the Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee:

On October 10, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at Saanich Municipal Hall (770 Vernon Avenue) the Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee will hold a special meeting to hear from the agricultural industry and community on the topic of genetically modified seed crops.

Attendees should pre-register at, or call
250-475-1775 extension 3505. HSAC Chair is Councillor Dean Murdock.

Pesticide Use Rises as Herbicide-resistant Weeds Undermine Performance of Major GE Crops

Amid all the furore about the Seralini study, another study came out on October 1st which you may have missed – pesticide use has actually increased with the use of some GE crops.

PULLMAN, Wash. — A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops — cotton, soybeans and corn — has actually increased. This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook’s analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use. Continue reading

Monsanto expanding GE wheat tests


Commercialization may be a decade away, but varieties are in the pipeline


Capital Press

The Monsanto Co. has nearly tripled the acreage of its permitted field tests for genetically engineered wheat in 2012, bringing the total to 900 acres, according to USDA data. Continue reading

Read Thierry Vrain on the GE apple

Organic farmer Thierry Vrain has the following thoughts on the GE apple. Read what he has to say carefully, he also has a science background and a sound knowledge of genetic engineering most of us don’t have.

The apple is the symbol of health.  Right ?  An apple a day, and all the doctors and Big Pharma vanish.  Just dreaming.   Would you bite into a Genetically Engineered apple that is not transgenic ?  Are you confused ?  Aren’t the two terms synonymous ?  Not anymore.  An Okanagan biotech company has engineered a modified apple that does not bruise.   This will be a bonus for wholesalers and retailers like your friendly supermarket.   The fruit does not bruise, the slices, the juice, the sauce, all stay pearly white.   It is a big improvement, apparently, over the current situation where apple juice and apple sauce are brown.  The research was done at the Summerland Research Centre of Agriculture Canada, with some of your tax dollars.  I know, I was there at the time.  A small biotech company was created with sole purpose to create this new product.   They funded a senior researcher’s lab at the Centre in Summerland to make them a transgenic apple tree that would make plenty of money. Continue reading

Anti GE resolution accepted by BC municipalities

At the recent Union of BC municipalities meeting in Victoria, the GE Free resolution against the GE apple proposed by the Okanagan-Similkameen was accepted. The resolution is below. You can help stop the GE apple – go to to sign a petition and get more information about what you can do. We will be continuing to campaign on this issue in the fall.
The text of the resolution follows: Continue reading

More on rats and cancer

As expected, the most recent study linking GE corn to cancer in rates has stirred up a storm from the right wing media. There are usually two strategies that the right wing media tries. The first is to query the methodology of the study (forgetting in this case that it was published in the same peer reviewed journal as Monsantos original study – on which approval of the corn variety was based). If questioning the methodology doesnt work, the next strategy is questioning the integrity of the scientists. In the case of the Seralini study, what is interesting is the virulent nature of the comments coming in, such as opinion piece in the National Post yesterday (which I am not going to post here but you can find for yourselves). Biotech seems to be on the run in this case! But what is clear from the Seralini study is that we dont know if GE crops are safe or not, and if theres any doubt, they shouldnt be on the market.
The piece below, signed by a number of scientists, details the history of attacks on scientists who have carried out independent research on GE crops.


Seralini and Science: an Open Letter
Posted By jrlatham On October 2, 2012 @ 12:19 am In Biotechnology,Commentaries,Health Independent Science News

(Authors listed below)

A new paper by the French group of Gilles-Eric Seralini describes harmful effects on rats fed diets containing genetically modified maize (variety NK603), with and without the herbicide Roundup, as well as Roundup alone. This peer-reviewed study (Seralini et al., 2012 [1]), has been criticized by some scientists whose views have been widely reported in the popular press (Carmen, 2012; Mestel, 2012; Revkin, 2012; Worstall, 2012).  Seralini et al. (2012) extends the work of other studies demonstrating toxicity and/or endocrine-based impacts of Roundup (Gaivão et al., 2012; Kelly et al., 2010; Paganelli et al., 2010; Romano et al., 2012), as reviewed by Antoniou et al. (2010). Continue reading

More on the rally against GE crops from the Okanagan

Click here for the Daily Courier front page news!

And here is a 1 minute segment by CHBC Global Okanagan at the 7th Annual Organic Okanagan Festival, including part of the organic week proclamation by Minister Norm Letnick.  Pardon the media bloopers – the name ‘Organic Wine Festival’, we actually had 500 attendees not 300 and quite interesting pronunciation of the word genetically!

The segment airs at minute 7:29

Russian scientists propose public study on safety of GE crops

Anti-GE apple rally in the Okanagan a big success

Franken-apples at the eye of the GMO storm

Monday, 01 October 2012 02:00     Kelowna Daily Courier

Sixty protesters rallied against what they call Franken-apples in a bid to stop genetically engineered fruit from entering grocery stores.
People sang and waved signs in Kerry Park expressing outrage that Health Canada is considering a bid by a Summerland biotech company to plant trees that grow non-browning apples. Continue reading