Most of you live in Canada or the US. We believe there is freedom living in these two beautiful countries and Government will protect our basic need for clean food. But like it our not, North American food is turning into the most toxic in the world. Our countries have lost food exports because we are both top producers of genetically modified food.
Now we have an opportunity to change this. And it may sound funny, but it’s going to start with an apple. The fruit that we’ve told our children “eat an apple a day, keep the Dr. away”, is on the verge of being genetically modified and we won’t be able to stop the damage once this science is approved by the Canadian Government.
There is a company in the Okanagan valley of BC ** Okanagan Specialty Fruits ** that has reached the Federal Government of Canada to pass a non-browning apple. They will not be using ‘hybrid’ cross pollination to come up with one type of non-browning apple. The science behind this GM apple is a technology done by the browning gene being silenced by inserting a new genetic sequence from 3 different species of apple cells with apple DNA that has had a plant virus and 2 bacteria genes inserted – otherwise known as genetic modification. And the misconception is that 1 or two types of non-browning apples will soon be available in your supermarket for you to choose (nestled between the apples that do brown). THIS IS NOT THE CASE because any type of apple could be grown with the technology and North America doesn’t label GMO food! The term non-browning is a technology that if planted, will effect any type of apple (Gala, Ambrosia, Granny Smith, etc.) grown. And the problem won’t be that farmers are lined up to grow apples this way, the problem will be contamination. Bees pollinate apple trees. If this technology is approved by the Canadian Government and even a few farmers start to use non-browning technology on apples, we will have a contamination problem that will only increase with time.
Do you honestly think it’s healthy to stop a naturally occurring process like fruit showing decay? The GM apple doesn’t start browning until 15 days after it’s been cut. Talk about deception. . . rotting apples that still look fresh. It’s not natural and if we loose our fight for genetically modified apples, our food system will be open to attack. We have no idea what information or studies Okanagan Specialty Fruits presented to the Canadian Government or if it’s factual. Yes, they are allowed to keep that secret. What we do know is there have been no 3rd party studies done by Health Canada or CFIA- the two bodies that are in place to protect Canadian health. Okanagan Specialty Fruits has not done any animal feeding studies on their technology. They are not submitting such studies and Health Canada will not ask for them which is terrifying.
Apples are a big deal in my Province of BC. We produce 30% of the apples grown in Canada, which is about 80% of all BC tree fruit production and the growers and apple farmers of BC don’t want this technology to be approved. In 2001 Okanagan farmers protested and chased Okanagan Specialty Fruits out of the Okanagan so the trials were done in Washington and New York. How do my US readers feel about that? GM apple trials were run in two of your states. Remember what happened when one field of GM wheat tested positive in Oregon? Japan immediately canceled a 25,000-ton import from the US. Contamination and GM food causes that much harm to our exports. This is why many feel like this is an attack on BC’s apple and will damage the reputation of all North American apples. Think how you viewed corn after it became the poster child for GMO. Do we want this to happen to the apple?
So what is currently a BC and Canadian problem will ultimately become a problem for all of North America. The Canadian and American food system are so deeply intertwined and the issue of contamination is a fact. So this is a much bigger problem and we need everyone involved to stop the GM apple. We know that it’s consumers that can change the food system and culture in our country. You are not only helping your families and protecting our food system, but the farmers also do not want this technology. Organic and traditional apple growers in BC and Washington have publicly said they don’t want this technology approved.
CBAN (Canadian Biotechnology Action Network) is leading the charge but they need our help. They have issued three steps for how we can help our Government say ‘no’ to the GM apple. Please share these images, take action, and raise awareness about our battle for clean food. Don’t forget what an impact you have personally when you share information with your friends and family by talking or through social media. We have until April 15th to fight this through hard copy petitions. If you live in BC, here is a link to the petition you can print from the CBAN website. Also share the three actions outlined below:
My thanks to Teresa from GE Free BC for taking the time to explain this issue. Please follow this Facebook Fan Page, in addition to CBAN and GMO Free Canada. These are the groups that will distribute information first on the topic of the GM apple. Let’s push and do our part to stop untested science that affects our food system. There are many people in our countries spending large amounts of their time to fight this cause. It’s time for us to stand with them. I hope my children never eat an apple made by science instead of the proud hands of a farmer.
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