Metchosin farmer Dieter Eisenhawer is surprised to find that slugs have gotten into his organically grown strawberries. Eisenhawer has been growing organic produce for more than 20 years and is pleased that Metchosin has banned the growing of all genetically modified organisms.

Metchosin envisions GMO-free Island

District encouraging coastal ban on genetically modified organisms

Metchosin is spearheading a plan for Island and coastal communities to be free of genetically engineered organisms (GMOs).

The district banned the growing or selling of GMOs in November and this month prepared a similar motion to be brought to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities meeting in April. The annual AVICC convention will be held in Sooke this year.

“I think there is too much uncertainty (around) GMOs and what they do to the environment,” said Metchosin Coun. Moralea Milne.

“All of this takes a lot of time to find out. Think about how long it took for people to realize cigarettes were bad for us and caused cancer.”

Some key concerns Milne listed include the proliferation of “super-weeds,” increased use of pesticides and the transfer of pollen from GMO plants to those that aren’t. A certified organic farmer could lose status if their crops are tainted by GMO plants, she said.

“Vancouver Island and coastal communities are isolated from the rest of B.C.,” Milne said. Given the environment and wind patterns on the coast, it is possible to be a genetically engineered-free zone, she added.

A related motion – from the Okanagan-Similkameen regional district – passed at the Union of B.C. municipalities last year regarding organic tree fruits.

“A number of countries won’t accept genetically engineered crops,” said Milne, addressing organic farmers’ concerns.

Last year Metchosin brought a motion to decriminalize marijuana to the AVICC convention. It passed, was forwarded to the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ convention and passed there as well. Milne hopes to see this motion have the same success.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

More trails coming to the Highlands

Grand opening of Electric Avenue takes place on Saturday

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Drug Use: High school students comfortable talking about marijuana but not other drugs

Teens not always willing to make the first move to get help

Sooke Road bus pullouts now operational, says province

Pullouts are located at the West Shore Parkway, Laidlaw Road and Harbourview Road

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest fills harbour with music

Music festival wraps with free party Sunday at Ship Point

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

How the Gorge Canada Day Picnic grew from a basement idea to a single-day event with 10,000 visitors

‘We’re going to need more food,’ among lessons from first Gorge Canada Day Picnic

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Most Read