The NDP BC Caucus writes Minister Ritz to protest the introduction of genetically engineered fruit in BC

November 22, 2012

Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
House of Commons
Ottawa Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Ritz,

The BC federal NDP caucus would like to express our support for BC Fruit Growers and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) in their resolve to reject the introduction of genetically engineered fruit tree varieties in BC and ultimately in the rest of Canada.

This resolve has come about over the potential threat to the apple industry in the event Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. is awarded government approval in their application for the unconfined environmental release of their genetically engineered non-browning Arctic Apple (GD743 and GS784). BC apple growers, both organic and conventional, have resoundingly rejected any notion of a genetically engineered (GE) apple being introduced into their apple growing environment fearing contamination of non-GE apple trees via pollination, public backlash and devastating harm to their markets. Furthermore, non-browning apple varieties are already available making the genetically engineered Arctic Apple entirely unnecessary.

We strongly urge the Minister to bring forward legislation that will provide the government with the currently missing but necessary mechanism to consider the potential for market harm in its approval process of genetically engineered fruit trees. Please be assured that the federal NDP BC caucus stands in support of the UBCM resolution calling for the establishment of a GE Free BC when it comes to our fruit trees.

Sincerely,

Kennedy Stewart, MP
Burnaby Douglas


Jean Crowder, MP
Nanaimo-Cowichan


Alex Atamanenko, MP
BC Southern Interior


Don Davies, MP
Vancouver-Kingsway


Nathan Cullen, MP
Skeena-Bulkley Valley


Libby Davies, MP
Vancouver East


Randall Garrison, MP
Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca


Peter Julian, MP
Burnaby-New Westminster


Jasbir Sandhu, MP
Surrey North


Jinny Sims, MP
Newton – North Delta


Fin Donnelly, MP
New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody

 

This Open Letter to Ministers & Public Officials was posted on November 28, 2012