Municipal candidates’ views on GE from Port Coquitlam

Coquitlam 2014 candidates speak out about GE crops in responses to two questions (responses in no particular order):

  1. What is your position on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops, and why?
  2. What are you prepared to do to increase public awareness about genetically engineered crops, as well as herbicide and pesticide use, including neonicotinoids?

Eric Hirv: I am aware of genetically engineered crops to create crops that don’t produce seed so that farmers need to buy seed each year.

I am against the genetically engineered agriculture and do avoid products originating from that source. I can encourage others to avoid the products as well.

Darrell Penner: 1. The world of GMO is a large one and I have been very interested in this issue for a long time. I believe there are number of people that are concerned (as I am) about the control of seeds like Monsanto and most people blend the two conversations of GMO and see control together and they are two different conversations.

So specific to my thoughts on GMOs there are I believe, significant differences of gmos within that spectrum. For example spicing a fish dna with a tomato is significantly different (In my opinion) then just using dna splicing among the same variety of plants similar to what happens in nature but not as quickly. National Geographic has an 8 part series on world food production and what our future needs will be. If you not read please do. So in short I believe there is a need to use this technology but again, in my opinion, only plant to plant and not plant to animal/fish.

  1. I was the early voice on council regarding the use of herbicides and pesticides. Our community did take Hudson’s lead and have band the use of herbicides for cosmetic use in Port Coquitlam and our city does not put them on any park or playing field.

I do believe there are valid reasons to use them to control invasive plants like the Knott weed but only if administered by a professional. I personally have not used them on my property for the past 25 or so years. And as far as neonicotinoids I frankly do not know enough about them to comment.

Laura Dupont: 1. I am very concerned about GMO crops in our communities, and the effects on our health and environment. It is unfortunate Canada did not support the labelling of GMOs when they had the opportunity. I understand many BC municipalities are moving towards banning GMOs and I am receptive to learning more about this. I fully support sustainable agriculture and hope to bring many more community gardens to Port Coquitlam. Please see my website for my thoughts on promoting local food production, protecting water, agricultural land and encouraging more community gardens.

  1. I am proud of the City of Port Coquitlam for its cosmetic pesticide ban. I would be very supportive of a municipally based public awareness program to inform residents about Neonicotinoids and other substances that pose a risk to our pollinators, human health and environment in general. I believe if such pesticides/herbicides are to be used within our municipality we need to fully understand the risks as well as the benefits.
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