Group discusses concerns for farmland

Discussions held relating to GMOs (genetically modified organisms)

To the editor;

As a member of the board of directors of the very grassroots movement called the BC Food Systems Network, I was delighted to receive an email recently to inform us of the grassroots movement of farmers and eaters that attended the recent Richmond city council meeting to add their support to the decision of the Richmond council to ban GMOs (genetically modified organisms) from their land.

The BC Food Systems Network: It is inclusive of any who care about the future of humanity, and about the health of the citizens. You are welcome – just check out the website, feel free to join or consider attending the annual gathering.  We would love to welcome you in person in July.

Here is a quote from one member who attended: “There were Richmond farmers grateful for the opportunity to learn how to grow food, passionate about keeping that food free of GMOs.”

There were young people, including two teenagers who talked about their concern for the future and their fears about GMOs and keeping the land of Richmond free of environmental hazards. Several people spoke about the uncertainties, even acknowledging the words of the two or three supporters of GMOs, but submitting that we just don’t know and won’t necessarily know for some time, the harmful effects on human health or on the environment and appealing for a cautious approach.

One man contrasted the difference between actions that are reversible and those that are not.

One woman spoke on behalf of the bee population, and all the contributions bees make to agriculture – warning that bees are vulnerable to changes in the make-up of our crops and have been severely threatened and reduced lately.

Pesticide resistance and other potential harmful side-effects of GMOs were raised. One speaker, hearing-impaired, made a brave and logical argument providing facts about health and environmental concerns. Many who were not in the long line-up of speakers shared the concerns and have our own unique stories to reinforce their statements.” (Rosemary P., Richmond, B.C.)

I hope our municipal councils and our First Nations communities start the discussion on keeping the North Thompson Valley free of GMO. Hummm, you laugh and say, ‘Too late.’ You are right. Look around you – the people are getting less healthy, the land is getting less healthy. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to take this and climate change seriously.

Cheryl Thomas

Clearwater, B.C.

Community member, parent and

grandparent

“We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.” – First Nations origin