Canada: Politicians support BC growers’ fight against GM apples

May 22 2012

New Democrats are calling on the B.C. Liberals to defend the B.C. fruit industry by working with the federal government to keep the province free of genetically modified fruit.

“The B.C. tree fruit industry produces healthy products that are world famous for flavour and purity.  Growers are concerned that this marketing advantage will be undermined if the introduction of genetically modified fruit is allowed to go forward,” said Lana Popham, New Democrat critic for agriculture.

There is currently a proposal before the federal government to allow for the introduction of a genetically modified apple variety called the Arctic Apple.

“Conventional growers are concerned that consumer rejection of genetically modified foods could lead to a decline in the market share of B.C. growers if this GM apple is introduced, while organic growers are concerned they will be put out of business when their trees are cross-pollinated by GM trees, leading to the loss of their organic certification,” said Popham.

Last year the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association passed a resolution against the introduction of GM fruit, stating concerns about consumer backlash and the difficulty of protecting organic growers from contamination.

“Adrian Dix and the New Democrats believe it is important to advocate for the interests of B.C. industry at the federal level,” said Popham. “Whether it is calling for the removal of antiquated liquor laws that make it more difficult for B.C. wineries to sell their products across Canada, or protecting the reputation of our world class fruit growers, we will continue to fight for what’s best for our province.”

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