To the editor:
As a citizen and shopper concerned about the health, environmental, ethical, and socio-economic hazards of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), I am writing to inform your readers about March Against Monsanto, what it is and what it stands for.
March Against Monsanto is a global call to action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long-term health risks ofgenetically modified foods and demanding that GMO products be labelled so that consumers can make informed decisions, ultimately leading to an outright ban on GMOs in Canada and the world.
Born and raised in Kelowna I come from a family of farmers. Both my grandfathers and maybe even my great grandfathers were farmers. My grandfathers came to Canada and took up the profession of farming in Kelowna, farming many crops with the main being tree fruits but also various vegetables for the cannery that used to be here in the valley.
I personally have seen a substantial increase in the amount of pesticides and herbicides that are applied to crops and the damage that it causes to the environment and human health. As a kid we used to be able to walk the border of our orchards and find asparagus, but with weed spray that all disappeared, various forms of wildlife have diminished greatly in the orchard we farmed with pheasants and snakes being noticeably fewer, and I have had uncles and aunts die early from cancer.
Not sure if any of that is directly related to the sprays used but it makes you wonder.
Canada has approved and disapproved many different chemicals and sprays over the years because they continually find out after the fact that it is detrimental to human health and the environment like DDT, PCBs, Saccharin and more. All of which were deemed safe by the company, Monsanto, but have been proven to have adverse health effects on humans and or causing damage to the environment.
Enter genetically modified foods by Monsanto. Monsanto will tell you that GMOs are safe and substantially equivalent to non-gmo foods. Crops have been genetically modified to either produce their own toxin (pesticide) or to withstand massive amounts of herbicides (Round-up, produced by Monsanto) or Round-up ready crops. They promise less chemicals and higher yields all of which are proving to be false. Not to mention the ever increasing scientific evidence that is proving that GMO crops are having adverse long term side effects on the population. Canada has approved for cultivation GMO crops by the word of Monsanto with no independent testing. We are now starting to see many respected geneticists speak out against genetic modification of our food.
What’s also discouraging about GMOs is that these biotech companies can patent the seeds effectively taking away the rights of farmers. These crops can cross pollinate with non GMOs and contaminate non-gmo crops world wide.
There are many GMO fields in Canada and the US, the main crops are: Rapeseed (Canola oil), soy, corn, sugar beets, and cotton (cottonseed oil). The first apple has been genetically modified (Arctic Apple) with the possibility of many of the other prized Okanagan tree fruits being genetically modified in the future. A salmon has been genetically modified and is awaiting approval from various governments.
Up to 75 per cent or more of your food in grocery stores are genetically modified and are not labeled. More than 60 countries around the world have either banned, limited or forced mandatory labelling of GMOs.
There are hundreds of cities with millions of people around the world who will March Against Monsanto. The March in Kelowna will start at Parkinson Rec Centre at 11 a.m. Please stop by and have your say.
On May 24th, 2014 we will be Marching against Monsanto to:
Protect our food supply
Support local farms
Protect our environment
Promote sustainable solutions