GE Free Comox Valley

Say No to GMO

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Save the Bees

Save the Bees.

via Save the Bees.

March Against Monsanto – October 12

March Against Monsanto - October 12

In the Comox Valley the first MAM was planned by 4 people in 4 days and 450 protest letters were signed and mailed to our politicians, but our next march can be bigger and better if we have 30 people and 30 days to organize this event.

Planning Meeting:
Thursday, September 12, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Quality Foods Courtenay – Meeting Room Upstairs

You are invited to attend and share your ideas. Please share this with your members and friends. Everyone is welcome to come and all input is appreciated.

Say NO to GMO in BC

Say NO to GMO in BC

The Union of BC Municipalities is holding a vote in September to make BC the first GE Free province in Canada.  This vote may set a precedent for other provinces to follow.  It is VERY important that we tell them we DON’T WANT TO GROW GE PLANTS IN BC.

1. Print off this petition

2. Get signatures from your friends, family and co-workers

3. Mail it to the address at the bottom of the page.

It does not matter if you have 2, 20, or 200 signatures – everyone signature counts.  Please send them in.  YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD!

http://www.scribd.com/doc/158447156/GE-Free-BC-Petition

GE Free BC Petition

GE Free BC Petition

The Union of BC Municipalities is holding a vote in September to make BC the first GE Free province in Canada.  This vote may set a precedent for other provinces to follow.  It is VERY important that we tell them we DON’T WANT TO GROW GE PLANTS IN BC.

1. Print off this petition

2. Get signatures from your friends, family and co-workers

3. Mail it to the address at the bottom of the page.

It does not matter if you have 2, 20, or 200 signatures – everyone signature counts.  Please send them in.  YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR WORLD!

Letter to Council (Please pass this information on to All Municipal Councils in BC)

 Members of this Council,

 I came to thank you for taking the time to educate yourself about this issue before the vote at UBCM on a resolution to create a GE Free BC.  

 My name is Dr. Vrain,  some of you I think were given a link to a TED Talk I gave three months ago.  I was a soil biologist and a genetic engineer with the Research Branch of Agriculture Canada for 30 years.   I was the head of the Department of Biotechnology until I retired in 2012 after the completion of the Human Genome Project.   I will come back to that.

 I am trying to impress you that unlike most people I can spell DNA and even recombinant DNA.  I was the spokesperson of my Institute in Summerland during those years and took it on as my responsibility to educate the public.  I spoke publicly about the hopes of the engineered technology, and how precise and safe it all is.   I retired in 2012 because the Human Genome Project was completed.  And the answer was very clear.  That genetic engineering technology was not at all the precise technology it claimed.  The transgenes are inserted at random in the genome of the plants.  Complete random.   What we learned from the Human Genome Project is that the genome is a complex ecosystem, absolutely not based on the one gene one protein hypothesis which is the premise of the genetic engineering technology.  

 Sorry to use all these big words.  Stay with me.  This is a good story.  

 The genetic engineering technology I was working with was based on a wrong assumption that we would produce one protein per event.  The new paradigm said that we were inserting  foreign constructs in the middle of an ultra sensitive ecosystem of genes.  It’s like introducing a new pest in a sensitive ecosystem.   Not good.  Some of the misshaped proteins resulting from the genetic insertions may turn out harmful.  That would mean that the old paradigm of safety and naïve simplicity was not valid and the rogue proteins created potentially dangerous.   I could not justify what I did anymore, and I could not in good faith reassure the public that the technology was innocuous.    During my time in Research,  I studied many scientific publications sponsored by the biotech Industry and I came to the conclusion that the engineered crops and foods are totally safe to eat, provide greater yields and make the farmers rich, require less pesticides and cannot possibly have any effect on our environment.

 But in the last 10 to 15 years there is also a large body of scientific publications, peer reviewed, many in prestigious Journals, that tell exactly the opposite.   The appearance of super weeds and superbugs did not surprise anybody in the science world.  They were fully expected.  Even by the chemical industries that have prepared just in time the next generation of herbicide tolerance.  With 2-4 D.  That’s agent orange during the Vietnam war.  Less the dioxin of course.  I mean, I assume we are not going to spray any dioxin residues in our countryside like we did in Vietnam.  

 Wouldn’t this transition to a new chemical system of farming be a perfect time for growers to come out of their feudal position with the seed and chemical input Industries.   

 This body of science makes it clear that the yields in Europe are higher than in America – yields per acre of course.  They do not refuse the technology because of superweeds or superbugs or falling prey – economically speaking, to the Industry.   They refuse it mostly on the grounds of this body of research with mice and rats and pigs and other animals.  And the story is about some toxic principles from engineered food that damage organs: liver, uterus, kidneys, brain, or some other proteins that cause allergies – particularly from the mis-shaped Bt proteins.  And yes.  There is definitely a hug increase in cancer and other related hormonal imbalances

 The scientists of the Food and Drug administration in the USA knew that already in 1996 when the first engineered crops were released commercially without being tested.   The administration went over the verdict of its own experts.  They predicted that engineered crops and engineered foods would contain rogue proteins – inevitably produced by the invasive technology.  They predicted that some of these proteins would be toxic, cause allergies and organ damage, nutritional problems, and other illnesses.  

 Mr Wager who will speak after me is going to tell you that we must have this technology to feed a hungry planet.  This is complete fallacy.  It is well documented that this technology does not increase yields.  The herbicide tolerance technology – RoundUp Ready crops, have been shown to yield less than their non engineered counterparts.  In Europe, corn yields have been significantly superior to North America in the last 10 years.  They do not use this technology in Europe. 

 Mr Wager is going to tell you that this technology decreases the need for pesticides.  An unexpected goal for a chemical company – turned life company now.  Yes they have patented life.   The seeds are patented.  They are not sold.  They are leased.   You cannot keep them or multiply them.  It does not matter too much that you can’t keep your seeds if you are using hybrids.   So no change for corn growers.  But for everybody else, that’s a voluntary step into economic dependence.  You get your seeds every year from the life company, and you have to be nice about it.    You cannot do any research on the technology unless you swear to agree that what is good for Monsanto prevails.  

 They have been successful at marketing their product because it makes weed management and life less complicated for the farmer.  But I doubt that it was always the intention of these companies to sell less and less of their products.  Of course not, sales of insecticides and herbicides have gone through the roof in the last 10 years.  Particularly more recently with the epidemics of resistant weeds and resistant insect pests.

 Mr Wager is going to tell you that nobody has died from eating GMOs and that 3 billion meals, or is it 3 trillions, have been served.  And everybody is in perfect health.  The truth is that research studies from Europe in the last 10 years have documented organ damage in rats and pigs, and cellular damage in human cells.  And there is no denying that we are experiencing epidemic levels of allergies, gastrointestinal problems, kidney damage, or breast cancer.  The European research says that toxic proteins in engineered foods are responsible for these symptoms in mice and rats.

 The European studies also say that RoundUp herbicide is used on such a massive scale that is is now everywhere, in the air, in the water, in the food.   RoundUp kills plants because it stops plant enzyme proteins from doing their metabolic work.  People cannot be affected because we do not have the same biochemical pathways that the plants have.  But we are now discovering that bacteria are affected as much as plants.  And the bacteria in our guts are affected.  In case you do not know that, you are not human at all.  You are a symbiotic organism.  Your body contains roughly 10% of human cells.  The rest are bacterial cells.   99% of your DNA is bacterial.  That is how important our gut flora is to our health. A phenomenal ecosystem of thousands of species of bacteria that synthesize vitamins and many other essential molecules, hormones, etc … Gut bacteria make 95% of the serotonin and other neurotransmitters for our brain.  Would you prefer a happy flora down there ?  Rather than a sad one.  High or even very low residues of RoundUp in our food is a stress to our health.  And no, you can’t tell from looking around you.  It apparently takes many many years of this low level biochemical stress to cause leaky gut syndrome, or organ damage, or cancer.  Meanwhile everybody in North America is ingesting its weight of GMO ingredients every year.

 Mr Wager will tell you that there is a conspiracy of rogue scientists determined to spread lies about the safety of this technology.   But he will be at a loss to explain the motivation of these scientists. 

 If I cite the research work of these scientists Mr Wager will tell you that it is all pseudo science and that it has been thoroughly trashed by the scientific community.   So you need to understand that there is a great deal of research in Biotech, mostly funded by the biotech Industry.   University Industry grants are normal.  Putting hundreds of scientists on the payroll is not difficult.   Or give them a patent or two for their research work.  

 Do you remember the tobacco ads of 40 years ago.  More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarettes.  20,000 physicians say Luckies are less irritating.   Why do you think doctors can be bribed but not scientists ?   There are experts on hire – everywhere. 

 I appreciate that this is seen as a controversy.  So I will conclude with this statement.  As long as there is a controversy – of the kind that the Tobacco Industry created 40 years ago to stay in business for many years after the scientific evidence was in, there can be no recall or regulatory action taken. There is no controversy in 64 countries of the world, including the big ones – Europe, India, Russia, and China, where GMOs are banned or at least labelled. 

 We are giving you bits and pieces of a booklet called GMO Myths and Truths.  It is a compilation of published research, much of it from Europe and the rest of the world.  It was compiled by a genetic engineer and edited and re-written by Claire Robinson an excellent science writer.  It is a bit dry and technical.  But if you can spell DNA take a look at it.  Free download at  earthopensource.org

Vote YES for GE Free BC at UBCM

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) is holding a vote at their September Convention to decide if they wish to put forward a motion to the BC government to declare BC a GE Zone.

Everyone on municipal council has a right to attend the convention and vote.  This is an important and may affect policy decisions by the government.

Please send your municipal representatives an email and tell them how you feel about a GE Free BC and why it is important to you.  Your message can be brief, but the more people who make their views known, the more chances we have of getting the vote passed.

Your message can be as short as “Please vote yes at the UBCM vote for a GE Free BC” or you can add your own personal story.  Be sure to give your full name and what town you live in.

Highlight the names and email addresses for all the names for your town and then use the right mouse button to COPY, then open your email program and point to the To: line and using the right mouse button again, PASTE the names into the To: line and send everyone an email at one time.  It is fast and easy.

Share this with your friends and ask them to send an email also.

Campbell River

Mayor Walter                            Jakeway mayor.jakeway@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Andrew Adams    councillor.adams@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Ron Kerr                 councillor.kerr@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Ryan Mennie          councillor.mennie@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Claire Moglove       councillor.moglove@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Larry Samson         councillor.samson@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Mary Storry             councillor.storry@campbellriver.ca

Comox

Mayor Paul Ives                            pives@comox.ca
Councillor Patty Fletcher            pfletcher@comox.ca
Councillor Ken Grant                   kgrant@comox.ca
Councillor Tom Grant                  tgrant@comox.ca
Councillor Hugh MacKinnon     hmackinnon@comox.ca
Councillor Barbara Price            bprice@comox.ca
Councillor Maureen Swift           mswift@comox.ca

Courtenay

Mayor Larry Jangula                      ljangula@courtenay.ca
Councillor Jon Ambler                   jambler@courtenay.ca
Councillor Bill Anglin                      banglin@courtenay.ca
Councillor Doug Hillian                 dhillian@courtenay.ca
Councillor Ronna Rae Leonard   rleonard@courtenay.ca
Councillor Manno Theos               mtheos@courtenay.ca
Councillor Starr Winchester         swinchester@courtenay.ca

Cumberland

Mayor Leslie Baird                        mayor.baird@cumberland.ca
Councillor Conner Copeman     councillor.copeman@cumberland.ca
Councillor Kate Greening           Councillor.greening@cumberland.ca
Councillor Roger Kishi                 Councillor.kishi@cumberland.ca
Councillor Gwyn Sproule            councillor.sproule@cumberland.ca

Gold River

Mayor Craig Anderson                dabear10@cablerocket.com
Councillor Kirsty Begon              alots@cablerocket.com
Councillor Doug Arcus                dougwgarcus@yahoo.ca
Councillor John Frame                 j-bframe@cablerocket.com
Councillor Gordon Waterman  gdwaterman@gmail.com

Port Alberni

Mayor John Douglas                     john_douglas@portalberni.ca
Councillor Hira Chopra               bluebirdmotel@shaw.ca
Councillor Rob Cole                      rob_cole@portalberni.ca
Councillor Wendy Kerr                info@wendykerr.ca
Councillor Jack McLeman            jmcln@shaw.ca
Councillor Cindy Solda                 cindysolda@me.com
Councillor Dan Washington        dwashington@alberniengineering.com

Port Alice

Mayor Jan Allen                                        info@portalice.ca

Port Hardy

Mayor Bev Parnham                         mayor@porthardy.ca
Councillor John Tidbury                   jtidbury@porthardy.ca
Councillor Janet Dorward                jdorward@porthardy.ca
Councillor Jessie Hemphill              jhemphill@porthardy.ca
Councillor Rick Marcotte                 rmarcotte@porthardy.ca
Councillor Debbie Huddlestan     dhuddlestan@porthardy.ca
Councillor Nikki Shaw                      nshaw@porthardy.ca

Zeballos

Mayor Ted Lewis                               adminzeb@recn.ca

All North Island Contacts (copy and paste in one block)

Mayor Walter Jakeway mayor.jakeway@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Andrew Adams councillor.adams@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Ron Kerr councillor.kerr@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Ryan Mennie councillor.mennie@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Claire Moglove councillor.moglove@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Larry Samson councillor.samson@campbellriver.ca
Councillor Mary Storry councillor.storry@campbellriver.ca
Mayor Paul Ives pives@comox.ca
Councillor Patty Fletcher pfletcher@comox.ca
Councillor Ken Grant kgrant@comox.ca
Councillor Tom Grant tgrant@comox.ca
Councillor Hugh MacKinnon hmackinnon@comox.ca
Councillor Barbara Price bprice@comox.ca
Councillor Maureen Swift mswift@comox.ca
Mayor Larry Jangula ljangula@courtenay.ca
Councillor Jon Ambler jambler@courtenay.ca
Councillor Bill Anglin banglin@courtenay.ca
Councillor Doug Hillian dhillian@courtenay.ca
Councillor Ronna Rae Leonard rleonard@courtenay.ca
Councillor Manno Theos mtheos@courtenay.ca
Councillor Starr Winchester swinchester@courtenay.ca
Mayor Leslie Baird mayor.baird@cumberland.ca
Councillor Conner Copeman councillor.copeman@cumberland.ca
Councillor Kate Greening Councillor.greening@cumberland.ca
Councillor Roger Kishi Councillor.kishi@cumberland.ca
Councillor Gwyn Sproule councillor.sproule@cumberland.ca
Mayor Craig Anderson dabear10@cablerocket.com
Councillor Kirsty Begon alots@cablerocket.com
Councillor Doug Arcus dougwgarcus@yahoo.ca
Councillor John Frame j-bframe@cablerocket.com
Councillor Gordon Waterman gdwaterman@gmail.com
Mayor John Douglas john_douglas@portalberni.ca
Councillor Hira Chopra bluebirdmotel@shaw.ca
Councillor Rob Cole rob_cole@portalberni.ca
Councillor Wendy Kerr info@wendykerr.ca
Councillor Jack McLeman jmcln@shaw.ca
Councillor Cindy Solda cindysolda@me.com
Councillor Dan Washington dwashington@alberniengineering.com
Mayor Jan Allen info@portalice.ca
Mayor Bev Parnham mayor@porthardy.ca
Councillor John Tidbury jtidbury@porthardy.ca
Councillor Janet Dorward jdorward@porthardy.ca
Councillor Jessie Hemphill jhemphill@porthardy.ca
Councillor Rick Marcotte rmarcotte@porthardy.ca
Councillor Debbie Huddlestan dhuddlestan@porthardy.ca
Councillor Nikki Shaw nshaw@porthardy.ca
Mayor Ted Lewis adminzeb@recn.ca