Letter: Politicians should ‘keep the future in mind’

Voting? It is hard to get excited about voting when we are surrounded by ‘subprime’ thinking

To the editor:

Voting? It is hard to get excited about voting when we are surrounded by ‘subprime’ thinking. I agree with David Suzuki, geneticist and environmental icon, and want the candidates to keep the future in mind for our descendants. Where are the leaders who look past the next election and actually think long term for what is in the best interest of our country and citizens?

Many voters are displeased with the Conservative party for voting down Bill C474. This bill was a golden opportunity to halt the introduction of more genetically modified (GMO) crops to Canadian soil. To add insult to injury, the Conservative Agricultural Committee also blocked a moratorium on genetically modified alfalfa. All other parties had supported the motion to restrict GMO alfalfa.

If alfalfa is allowed to be genetically modified “We will see the organic farm community decimated across the country,” said Arnold Taylor, spokesperson for the Canadian Organic growers.

The fight over GMOs is not limited to the organic industry or to alfalfa. There is a much larger community who stand to become contaminated with ‘genetic pollution’ and that is the producers of natural non-GMO crops. Ask Percy Schmeiser, the Canadian farmer sued for using the patented seeds without a license when genetically modified canola seeds blew onto his fields and grew in his fields. He fought this injustice all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. The judgement was that if any GMO seeds get onto your land by whatever means, the corporation that holds the patent owns the crop and profits.

Who wins? The biotech corporations like Monsanto that are taking over control of the seed market and therefore our food supply. Who loses? Farmers growing both regular and organic crops lose their export markets if contaminated with gene-altered seeds. Europe won’t import genetically altered food for health and environmental reasons. In Europe GMO food requires a label, but here our government has already voted down two separate bills for labeling of GMO food. Why? Are they afraid we won’t buy genetically modified food if we had a right to know?

Consumers want labeling of GMO food and consumers deserve the freedom to choose what they eat. As a certified nutritionist, backed by a medical doctor, I am standing up to defend our pure seeds, and non-GMO farmers, as I believe that our health depends on access to natural food.

I used to say “buy organic” but now I am wondering if I will be saying “bye-bye organic” as a parting gesture as the changes to the seeds are permanent.

There is no turning back—ever. Even nuclear catastrophes have an end, but GMO is forever. I won’t vote for a party that supports further genetic alterations to our natural food supply.

Where does your preferred party stand on the issue of GMO?

Heidi Osterman,

Kelowna