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.


Kennedy Stewart, MP
Burnaby Douglas

Jean Crowder, MP

Alex Atamanenko, MP
BC Southern Interior

Don Davies, MP

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