Category Archives: GE apple

GE apple approved in Canada

The Canadian government announced approval of the non browning GE apple at the end of last week. This is no surprise as the US government also approved the apple a few weeks back, and US and Canadian health authorities usually approve GE applications.

But – many GE crops are approved and don’t make it to the market. If you want to stop the GE apple getting to market then go to our campaign page at https://gefreebc.wordpress.com/apple/

Go to your local store and ask them to commit to not selling the GE apple, and write to our Minister of Agriculture asking him to carry out the review of the likely impact of the GE apple on the BC apple industry – something he promised to do in 2012 but a promise he hasn’t kept as yet. For more details click the link above.

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Canada’s largest food distributor says no to the GE apple

Loblaw’s, Canada’s largest food distributor, has responded to public requests by saying it will not buy the GE apple. This adds to food distributors and stores across the country that have said they will not buy the GE apple.

If you want to learn more about our campaign against the GE apple, see https://gefreebc.wordpress.com/apple/

Country Grocers says no to the GE apple

Many thanks to Country Grocer, the Vancouver Island and Saltspring supermarket, which has committed to not selling the GE apple. Country Grocer has seven stores in  in Victoria (Esquimalt, Royal Oak), Ganges, Nanaimo (Bowen Road, Chase River), Lake Cowichan, and Cobble Hill.

Close to 100 stores across BC have now committed to not selling the GE apple.

Do you want to help out? If you have a local grocery store that you think would sign on to not selling the GE apple, please go to https://gefreebc.wordpress.com/apple/ and download the retail letter from HANS (our partner agency in this campaign) and take it into the store and get it signed.

If no stores stock the apple, investors will pull the plug on it, as they did with the genetically engineered pig that was being developed at the University of Guelph.

Here’s your chance to make a difference.

BC fruit growers say stop the GE apple

Please see the media release from the BC Fruit Growers Association who strongly oppose the introduction of the GE apple which was approved by the US government a couple of days back. Fruit growers across Canada and the US have all said the same, so why is the apple being developed?(Kelowna) – The BC Fruit Growers’ Association stated its ongoing opposition to the approval of Genetically Modified (GM) apples in Canada, despite the approval of the GM “Arctic” Granny Smith and GM “Arctic” Golden Delicious in the US today ( http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/SA_arctic_apples.pdf ). The “Arctic” Granny Smith and Golden Delicious are genetically engineered to modify the gene which controls apple browning. When cut, the apple does not brown, mainly resulting in cosmetic benefit and enhancing the efficiency of fresh cut apple processors. Other apples are available which are naturally slow to oxidise, or brown, when cut. The fruit grower association (representing 520 commercial tree fruit growers in the Okanagan, with BC annual farmgate value of apples of $45.3 million) has opposed the approval of GM apples in Canada due to possible market backlash that could impact all apples. “We regret that the US is approving the Arctic Granny Smith and Arctic Golden Delicious. The apple is considered a pure, unadulterated product, similar to milk. In a 2012 national survey of consumers, 71% said they agreed that there should be categories of food that should not be genetically engineered. Our members would like the apple market to remain free of GM apples,” said Steele. The BCFGA notifies the Canadian public that the situation is, as follows: the Arctic Apple is not approved in Canada at this time. – it would take at least 4 years before any significant volume of arctic apples were available in the marketplace, and even then the volume would be – it is only two varieties of Arctic apple which are are approved in the US at this time Granny Smith and Golden Delicious. “If consumers want to be perfectly assured that they are not eating a GMO apple, then avoid purchase of US Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples . We will advise the public when the product is approved in Canada, and seek to isolate any damage that the apple will cause in the marketplace by advising consumers how to continue purchasing apples while avoiding the Arctic Apple, if they so desire. We would prefer if the Canadian government would place a moratorium on the Arctic Apple, until we see the result of the market experiment in the US,” concluded Steele. The BCFGA represents 520 commercial tree fruit growers in BC and the Fédération des Producteurs de Pommes du Québec represents 555 commercial tree fruit farms in Québec

USDA approves the GE apple

The US approved the GE apple today. It has not been approved in Canada, but Canada may follow suit.

This isn’t a surprise as the USDA approves pretty much all GE applications. The majority of those approved never make it to market.

We are going to include actions you can take in the next two posts. Act now or the future of apples is genetically engineered.

There has been a fair bit of press on this here in BC, on BC Almanac and CTV.

There is still time to stop the GE apple even if it is approved in Canada, but now it’s even more urgent. HANS and GE Free BC are running a marketing campaign to get stores to commit to not selling the apple. So far 77 stores and 2 food processors have committed, and we are signing more up every day. If there is no market for the GE apple it won’t fly.

We are  also pressing the BC government to carry out the review of the GE apple it promised in 2012, when it said it was concerned about the impact of the apple on the BC fruit industry.

 

the Ge apple in the Chilliwack Times

Read a recent piece in the Chilliwack Times about the potential impact of the GE apple

http://www.chilliwacktimes.com/community/261007011.html

BC government refuses to carry out its promised review of the genetically engineered apple

Press release from the Society for a GE Free BC

The BC. government is refusing to carry out a review of the genetically engineered (GE) apple it promised in 2012. The GE apple developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Summerland BC is genetically engineered to not turn brown for about 15 days after it is cut, and is under assessment for approval in Canada and the US.

“Unless the BC government acts now, the GE apple could be approved before the promised review takes place,” said Tony Beck of the Society for a GE Free BC, “The government needs to carry out a review which is fair, transparent, and receives adequate input from consumers, farmers and scientific experts.”

In 2012 the Union of BC Municipalities voted for a moratorium on the GE apple and the promise of a review was part of the government’s response.

The Society for a GE Free BC, a grassroots community coalition working for sustainable agriculture and against genetic engineering of crops and animals, has made several requests for this review and meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture – with no response.

“Our government must consult British Columbians, retailers and both organic and conventional apple growers on this urgent GE apple problem,” said Teresa Lynne of the Society for a GE Free BC.

The BC Fruit Growers’ Association has also requested a moratorium on approving the GE apple.

This week Nicholas Simons, BC NDP agriculture critic, will present over 7,000 signatures gathered by the Society for a GE Free BC in 20 communities, calling for a moratorium on the GE apple. Simons also introduced two questions to the BC Legislature on May 12th asking for the review of the GE apple the government promised, with no response as yet.

In 2012, the Liberal government of the day noted its concern about negative impacts of the GE apple and promised a review in response to the UBCM resolution:

“The Province recognizes that production of Genetically Engineered (GE) fruit trees and their products, including tree fruit and pollen, raises human and environmental health concerns in export markets. These concerns can negatively impact access to those export and some domestic markets for both conventional and organic products.

If the Federal Government were to allow unconfined production of GE trees and other fruits in Canada, the fruit production and sales could be significantly impacted. The Province will explore the complex GE fruit issue and the UBCM resolution to request legislation to prohibit the BC production, importation and export of GE fruit trees and their products. Upon completion of this review, the Province will provide UBCM with its findings.”

Media contacts:

Tony Beck, Society for a GE Free BC, 250 538 8320

Teresa Lynne, Society for a GE Free BC, 604 837 1739

Nicholas Simons, NDP Agriculture Critic, 604 741 1536