Justifiable concerns over GE foods

Duncan – The front page article on June 6 questions widespread concerns over genetically engineered foods and there is a suggestion that these concerns originate in an anti-science and anti-progress element in society. I don’t think so.

While not an expert on biotechnology, I have read a lot of the original research supporting and questioning certain developments around GE foods and discovered that many well-qualified people have been doing likewise. I don’t see a general desire to stop scientific research and technological advancement in this area. Instead, there appears to be a need for more and better research.

It’s not the science and technology, but its inappropriate use that appears to be the problem. Development and patenting of crops resistant to herbicides sold by the same companies has caused further concentration of wealth and power in an already unequal society. This technological revolution initially was welcomed by many, especially farmers, who could now grow weed-free crops with minimum cultivation. Concerns that toxic levels of these herbicides, especially glyphosate products, could remain in the food supply were initially dismissed but now they are being detected in humans and livestock and raising a lot of questions about health effects.

Effects on ecosystems and biodiversity are equally concerning. Overzealous and almost complete weed control over large areas is severely reducing food supply and habitat for a lot of critters once thought inconsequential. Suddenly, we are realizing that we need wild bees, for instance. Loss of the monarch butterfly is now being blamed on too much herbicide use and loss of milkweed, its main food supply. Planting milkweed may make us feel good, but how many similar situations are out there? And guess who’s at the top of the food chain!

Ron Wall


Just Posted

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Flashback: Library concerns, a new park and new seniors plans

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas has been combing through old… Continue reading

Take your family to the Cobble Hill Fair this Saturday

Animals, rides, those wonderful displays in the hall, food and fun in store in Cobble Hill

Motor circuit expansion proposal to go to public hearing

North Cowichan gives applications third readings at packed meeting

Firefighters can’t burn down houses anymore, so they need a training facility

In the old days, everyone gathered to watch a ‘practice fire’, safety regulations won’t allow that now

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

Most Read