What your municipal candidates think about GE: Saanich

As we promised, we are reporting back on what we heard from candidates in the upcoming municipal elections – starting with Saanich.

The District of Saanich spans over 10,000 hectares of land, combining ten distinctive urban areas adjacent to thriving rural communities with hundreds of productive farms. Two years ago, Saanich declared itself to be a GE Free zone. Their commitment to healthy citizens in a healthy community is again demonstrated by the following comments we recently received from some of the candidates standing for 2014 election to their Council.

Health concerns are an issue for incumbent Councillor Judy Brownoff: “I do not support genetically engineered crops. This issue gets to the heart, for me, of whether my family is consuming any chemicals that will have any long term impacts, on us, on farming, or on the land.”

Incumbent Councillor Susan Brice “would support senior government really investigating the population risks of genetically modified foods.”

Council candidate Colin Plant echoed the concern about unknown risks: “I am not in favour of genetically-modified crops for several reasons but the primary one is that we just do not know enough about the potential harm of eating these foods. I think the precautionary principle is important. I would be willing to be part of the movement that would lobby Health Canada to have GMO food labelled as a bare minimum.”

Incumbent Councillor Paul Gerrard states that he is “totally against genetically engineered crops as we are messing with nature.  For every action there is a reaction, and the long-term effects of companies like Monsanto modifying crops and grains is not known. Also, the decimation of the bee population is suspiciously pointed towards the use of pesticides and particularly neonicotinoids.”

We at GE Free BC encourage all Saanich District candidates to continue their well-informed, prudent and proactive leadership towards a healthy future for both their urban and rural population.

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