GE Free Comox Valley

Say No to GMO

Monthly Archives: April 2015

Denied! Powerful Industry Groups Get Setback in Effort to Keep Consumers in the Dark on GMOs | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Denied! Powerful Industry Groups Get Setback in Effort to Keep Consumers in the Dark on GMOs | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

The courts in Vermont have upheld the constitutionality of the state to invoke mandatory GE labeling. There are still matters to go to trial, but proponents express optimism that mandatory labeling across the entire United States has been given the legal “green light”. This bodes well for Canadians, too, as informed consumer choice grows more real.

World Health Organization reclassifies glyphosate as probable carcinogen

Lyon, France, 20 March 2015 – The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the
specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, has assessed the carcinogenicity of five
organophosphate pesticides. A summary of the final evaluations together with a short rationale have
now been published online in The Lancet Oncology, and the detailed assessments will be published as
Volume 112 of the IARC Monographs.

International Validated Glyphosate Testing

On the same day we heard locally from retired soil biologist and genetic engineer, Dr. Thierry Vrain, and activist Tony Mitra, about Glyphosate, Genetically Engineered Food and Our Health, news breaks that the Organic Consumers (OCA) is able to offer glyphosate testing internationally.

International Validated Glyphosate Testing, Posted April 23, 2015 7:52 a.m. by Zen Honeycutt

“The Feed The World project launched April 23,2015 with a World first, unique glyphosate test for the general public. The project with specific focus on women and children in the U.S. is offering the first ever validated public LC/MS/MS glyphosate testing for urine, water and soon breast milk. This could lead to a ban on the sale and use of glyphosate, the world’s number one herbicide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announcement in March shocked the global biotech (GMO) industry by classifying their most profitable chemical – glyphosate – as a “probable human carcinogen” (1).”

Read the full story at:


World First Validated Public Testing Set to Increase Pressure for Ban on Glyphosate
Is the World’s Number #1 Herbicide in Your Body?

If you live outside the U.S. you can send your urine or tap water samples (not breast milk) to the U.S. for testing, however the aim is to form partnerships with labs in your country to enable our validated testing to be made available to you at a cheaper price.

Get tested: 

$5 of every test goes to MAA to raise awareness about GMOs, when ordered from this link. Please share!

Report on Delegation to Courtenay Council for a GE Free Purchase Policy ! Hip!Hip!

Report on the GE Free CV delegation to the City of Courtenay on April 20th 2015.
Arzeena Hamir, a local agrologist and organic farmer and Vanessa Goodall, staff with Cowichan Greens of Duncan presented our brief.We had 10 mins. We spilled over a bit but Vanessa was so polite that the Chair let her finish.

Every councillor spoke and 5 of them spoke in favour in one way or another. We are very pleased to hear how they felt that people in Comox Valley value good food and good health.

Councillor Bob Wells moved to ask Staff to look into this policy, Seconded by Councillor Rebecca Lennox. However the administrator said the Clerk has to verify first and the voting will be at the next meeting May 4th. Mon .

Mayor Jangula in closing said this an emotional issue, reminding everyone of Mr Robert Wager’s talk in 2013. The Mayor concluded saying ” No one has ever died of eating GMOs but people have died eating organics. There are 2 sides to this issue”

Our petition for a GE Free Comox Valley had over 700 signatures. The GE Free Purchase Policy had 40 businesses/organisation supporters

Very impressive given our petition started Feb 4th,2015.and the Purchase policy campaign started Mar 15th,2015 after the Approval of the GE non browning apple in Canada.

We had several kids and around 10 adult supporters present. Overall, this presentation was much better received than the one in 2013. We hope this bodes well for a positive outcome. We are all crossing our fingers till a city policy materialises maybe in the fall. Please Follow us on our way through this maze of technicalities.

In the meantime, please talk to you friends, restaurants, grocers , write to the media about keeping CV a clean, healthy and sustainable place to live. Local foods and GE Free preferably. Our media release for this event is also posted here in another article.
Our next planning meeting for March Against Monsanto is May 6th at 4.30pm at Quality Foods, Courtenay,Community Board Room.

GE Free Comox Valley pitches GE Free Procurement Policy to Courtenay Council

GE Procurement Slide Presentation to Courtenay Council

Courtenay City Council can take an active leadership role in building a healthier community, according to a local non-profit, GE Free Comox Valley, by creating a GE Free Purchasing Policy.

“This  policy would require that  any purchases that the City makes, from trees, grass, or flowers to food for City events, be free of genetically engineered material, whenever possible” explained Arzeena Hamir, of Amara Farms in Merville, who was making the presentation on Monday.

She notes that the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC) recently passed a pro-GE Free resolution, and the City of Duncan adopted a GE Free Purchasing policy that is being used as a model, both last year.

CV Economic Development  strongly supports investments from the organic sector, and is touting their success.  Most Organic Certification Standards prohibit the use of any genetically engineered or modified products.  On their website, under “Opportunities” the CVED says “We are encouraging processors and producers of niche products such as …organics to locate here.”

Of the seven producers highlighted in the CVED Agrifoods Investment brochure, three are organic.  “Food and beverage processing is the community’s number one economic growth priority.”

Susan Holvenstot, also a GE Free CV member, says there may “always be some controversy on the health and science sides of this issue, but a growing number of consumers and local businesses want healthier and GE Free products. The economics are clear. GE Free is good for the CV.”

The group began a petition promoting a GE Free Comox Valley, and as member Linda Cheu explains, ” Since our start on Mar 15 this spring, we are very happy to have collected over 700 signatures. ”

Courtenay Council has identified a local purchasing policy as one of its strategic priorities and GE Free Purchasing Policy fits hand in glove with that, and will be easy to implement, according to the group.

On Wed, April 22, Thierry Vrain will be speaking on “Engineered Foods and Your Health,” Florence Filberg Centre, Courtenay at 7 pm.

Also watch for the March Against Monsanto, Sat, May 23, 2015, Simms Park, noon.

GE Free Comox Valley, a small non-profit group, collaborates with local growers, farmers, chefs, food retailers, community groups, citizens and businesses, to educate about genetically engineered products.   They can be contacted at 250-331-0681 or e-mail

Thierry Vrain lecture on GMO foods | TideChange

Thierry Vrain lecture on GMO foods

April 8, 2015 • 0 Comments

Wednesday, 22 April 2015, 7:00 pm

Filberg Centre, Conference Hall (upstairs) – 411 Anderton Road, Courtenay


Dr. Thierry Vrain was a soil biologist and a genetic engineer with Agriculture Canada for 30 years. He was the Head of the Biotechnology Department at the Summerland Research Centre, managing the research programs of 40 professional and technical employees and providing leadership for scientific committees and organizations to evaluate research proposals, educate and advise on scientific issues. He provided scientific journals with reviews and editorial evaluations of scientific manuscripts, and technical expertise to governments to evaluate diagnostics and exclusion policies, and to Universities in Canada and abroad to educate students and staff, and supervise research projects. Thierry retired in 2002 and created a little herbal farm on Vancouver Island where he teaches soil health. He has slipped into the persona of “a scientist turned activist” and he lectures about GMOs.

via Thierry Vrain lecture on GMO foods | TideChange.

Campaign for GE Free Purchase Policy : delegation to Courtenay Council April 20th.

 Hello folks of  CV
 Since the non-browning GE (ARCTIC) apple was approved in March 2015, we fear that the flood gate was broken and other GE fruit trees  and  GE flora will come into Canada without even the pretension of having been tested for potential harm.
For this reason, our group, the  GE Free CV, has sprung into action.
1)  We have a general  petition , to show the intention of having a clean and sustainable valley. Wonder if you would sign it on line. I know some of you have already signed the manual one, then do not sign this again.
 VISIT: Follow the BEE on the top right hand corner and CLICK.
It is an open petition as we hope to use it several times later on.
2) Also,  GE Free CV  has a campaign to ask the City of Courtenay to adopt a GE Free Purchase Policy.
This requires  that any purchases the  CITY makes, be it grass, flowers or tress ,or catering for  city events,be free of genetically engineered material. 
We are asking businesses  to  show support by adding their names to our list of supporters in our letter
to Council. on April 20th 2015.  Would your business be interested ?. Below is the letter of endorsement.
We will be presenting this  request to City Council on Mon  April 20th 2015, at 4pm. with the petition.
Please come to support us .
Would really appreciate  if you can sign and also ask others who want to keep CV a special place to help make it happen.
Thanks Linda


In  March this year, Health Canada approved  the non browning GE (Arctic) apple despite official opposition by the BC Fruit Growers Association and against the wishes of almost 70% of Canadians, (Leger. 2012).

Past attempts to promote a GE Free Zone in the Comox Valley have come up against  stiff opposition from dairy farmers and some members of council.  With the GE fruit tree now approved and UBC experimenting with GE trees, our group sees the need to be proactive if we are to keep the valley as pristine  as possible.  For this reason, GE Free Comox Valley will be delegating to Courtenay Council to ask for a GE Free Purchasing Policy.

Such a policy would require that any purchases that the City makes, be it trees, flowers, grass, and any food that is purchased for City Council events, be free of genetically engineered material. A similar policy was passed in Duncan in 2014. We have a roadmap to follow so we are confident that it is an achievable goal.

This Purchasing Policy would enable Courtenay to take one simple action to become GE Free. We hope that we can count on your support.

We are asking your organization to support this GE Free Purchasing Policy by:

1   Endorsing our delegation – we would love to add the name of your organisation or business to our long list of supporters (see form below)  AND/OR

2   By asking your members to sign our petition,  at this website: follow the BEE  on the top right corner. and CLICK

We  will  be  appearing before Courtenay Council April 20th, so time is of the essence. Please let us know if we can add your name.  You can sign the following or send an e-mail to the same effect to

I endorse this proposal and urge Council to pass the GE Free Purchase Policy.

Business / Group Name_______________________________

Authorized by__________________________  ____________Date__________

If there are questions please contact  or ph: 250-331-0681 (also for pick up of this letter)

Thanks in advance.

Arzeena Hamir and Linda Cheu

On behalf of GEFree Comox Valley. (

March Against Monsanto – May 23, 2015 – EVERYWHERE

Let’s Take Our Planet Back

Mark this date on your calendar.

Bring your kids and bring your neighbours.

MAM poster 2015 b