Lucy Sharratt —
In an unprecedented step, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), at their Annual General Meeting in Vancouver, passed a resolution “that UBCM ask the British Columbia government to legislate the prohibition of importing, exporting and growing plants and seeds containing genetically engineered DNA, and raising GE animals within BC, and to declare, through legislation, that BC is a GE Free area in respect to all plant and animal species.”
The term GM or “genetically modified” is also commonly used.
Already 14 municipalities in BC have declared themselves GE Free Zones, and 10 Official Community Plans of Regional Districts have come out against GE crops, as communities across the province mobilized for a ban on GE crops.
“We’re overjoyed with our success,” said Teresa Lynne of the Society for a GE Free BC, a volunteer non-profit group, “We’re so grateful to all the councilors who heard our concerns and took this amazing step on our behalf. The provincial government needs to legislate this ban and then ask the federal government to do the same.”
“This was possible thanks to the actions of so many passionate and committed people. Every action made a difference,” said Lynne, “We all want to protect our families, environment and food system from the risks of genetically engineered crops and foods.”
“This is an unprecedented victory for grassroots communities,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, “Finally we see a level of government in Canada debate this issue and respond to peoples’ concerns.”
Supporters of the UBCM motion gathered almost 7000 signatures on online and hardcopy petitions, and protested yesterday morning outside the UBCM meeting location.