A recent community forum on genetically modified foods drew a crowd of more than 100 to the Fraser River Presentation Theatre in Langley.
Harold Steves, a Richmond city councillor, was a late addition to the speaker’s list. Steves, who was instrumental in getting the Agricultural Land Reserve legislation passed in the 1970s, has been a champion in getting his fellow councillors to declare Richmond a GE Free Zone, according to Phil Harrison, one of the event organizers.
Steves spoke about his personal experience with the seed supply, with multinational companies like Monsanto and Dupont buying up most of the independent seed companies, to the detriment of the heritage seed supply, explained Harrison, who’s planning to be part of a delegation appearing before Surrey’s agricultural advisory committee on Dec. 6.
Keynote speaker Lucy Sharratt spoke about the science of genetic engineering, and about which foods are genetically modified (currently, Canada’s foods are not labeled this way). She also talked about the latest foods to undergo a genetic transformation that may be introduced on our grocery shelves, including the Arctic apple in the Okanagan, and alfalfa.
The event, presented by the Council of Canadians Surrey-Langley-White Rock, Society for a GE Free BC, and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, also raised $345.