NDP MLA Lana Popham introduces petition against the GE apple

GE Free BC and CBAN, along with the Okanagan Greens and the True Food Foundation, coordinated the gathering of 5,500 signatures against the GE apple. See the press release below.

March 12, 2013

“Botox Apple” sparks controversy

More than 5500 BC residents have signed a petition calling on the BC Legislature to “take urgent action to halt the commercial introduction of a genetically modified apple”.

The petition was submitted in the BC Legislature today by Saanich South MLA and BC NDP Opposition Agriculture Critic Lana Popham.

A small BC company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits has licensed technology it claims produces a “non-browning” apple. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is currently considering an application to allow this apple to be produced commercially.

“Today I again ask the BC Ministry of Agriculture to stop avoiding this issue and listen to the thousands of consumers, farmers and stakeholders who are demanding their government actively oppose growing genetically modified apples in BC,” said Popham.

“The effect of this genetic modification is that it will make it harder to see bruises and discolouration – but those are important visual cues people use before deciding to take a bite,” said Popham.
“It is irresponsible for this government to stand idly by while a single commercial interest risks the excellent reputation of the entire BC fruit industry.”

The BC Fruit Growers Association strongly opposes the Arctic Apple for this very reason. It recently commissioned a consumer survey which found that 69% of Canadians don’t want the GM apple.

“We totally reject this botox apple,” said a petition drafter, Heidi
Osterman of the True Food Foundation   in the Okanagan.  “We see
consumer revulsion to this GM apple every time we talk to people about it.”

Media Contacts/Validators

Lana Popham, Saanich South MLA and BC NDP Agriculture Critic, 250 479 4154 Jeet Dukhia, President of the BC Fruit Growers Association, 250 545 1780 Robin Tunnicliffe, Organic Farmer and co-owner of Saanich Organics, 250 479 8273 Wendy Wright, Okanagan Greens Society, 250 469 1881 Heidi Osterman, True Food Foundation, 250 878 9437 Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613
241 2267 x25

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