May 28: Say No to Monsanto at Richmond City Hall

UPDATE:  Hundreds back council crop resolution  May 28 2012 |  Richmond Review

Supporters of a council resolution banning genetically modified crops packed city hall Monday calling the practise of growing such foods “immoral” and “dangerous.”

“The motivation of the companies that create this is profit, which is fine except that it’s not for the benefit of the community,” said Sandra Bourque, a former school trustee, one of dozens of speakers at the council meeting.

Opponents to the crops turned out by the bushel after getting wind that CropLife Canada was set to delegate to city council before its final vote.

That vote, which took place about three hours after the meeting started, was unanimous…

 


Keep Croplife (Monsanto) out of Richmond – Richmond City Council bans genetically modified plants so Monsanto is now coming to Richmond to try to overturn Council decision Monday evening the 28th May at 7 p.m. at Richmond City Hall.

We’ve been informed that Crop Life, the Public Relations wing of Monsanto and other biotech companies, will be coming to the Council meeting on the 28th May. They have already begun their lobbying efforts to try and get Richmond Council to change its mind.

If you are in or near Richmond, please turn out for the meeting. Some Councillors may waver under corporate pressure, and a big turn out of the public will make all the difference and hold them firm to their decisions. Several Councillors spoke passionately about their concerns with genetic engineering, and a big public showing will give them more courage.They have already begun their lobbying efforts to try and get Richmond Council to change its mind.  

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Monsanto Coming To Town?  Get Local | May 27 2012

From our friends in Richmond:

Richmond bans genetically modified plants

Monsanto coming to Richmond to try to overturn Council decision

This Tuesday Richmond Council voted unanimously at a general meeting, with the Mayor and all Councillors present, to pass a resolution to make Richmond the eighth GE free crop zone in B.C. The wording of the resolution is on the Richmond Council website.

Ten people spoke in favour of the resolution. This now has to go through the formal process of being passed at a Council meeting, which will happen on the 28th May at 7 p.m. at Richmond City Hall.

We’ve been informed that Crop Life, the Public Relations wing of Monsanto and other biotech companies, will be coming to the Council meeting on the 28th May. They have already begun their lobbying efforts to try and get Richmond Council to change its mind.

If you are in or near Richmond, please turn out for the meeting. Some Councillors may waver under corporate pressure, and a big turn out of the public will make all the difference and hold them firm to their decisions. Several Councillors spoke passionately about their concerns with genetic engineering, and a big public showing will give them more courage.

If Richmond becomes a GE zone this will have a really big impact on other parts of the Province. As a large municipality with about 200 farms and where GE corn is being grown, people will see that if this can be done in Richmond, it can be done anywhere in the Province. GE Free BC is already getting emails from other municipalities where environmental activists want to get a GE Free resolution passed. This is why Monsanto is sending in the PR guys.

 

Richmond bans genetically modified plants   Locals Supporting Locals

Genetically modified crops and plants have been banned from Richmond, B.C. gardens under a new bylaw that critics say is unenforceable.

RICHMOND, B.C. — Richmond City Council says engineered crops and plants have no place the gardens of Metro Vancouver.

Councillors have voted unanimously to ban further genetically modified species from Richmond soil, although the ban is unenforceable, because genetically engineered plants are regulated by the federal government, not local authorities.

Activist Arzeena Hamir fought for the Richmond decision and is pleased the city has joined Powell River, Salt Spring Island and the Kootenay communities of Nelson, Rossland and Kaslo in banning scientifically altered crops.

The ban comes just days after orchardists in B.C.’s Okanagan region voiced concern about the possible arrival of genetically modified fruit trees.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is considering an application to allow an engineered variety of apple, called the Arctic Apple, that has a trait preventing the fruit from browning when cut.

Growers fear customers will reject tinkered fruit and the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association has already passed a resolution opposing genetic modification, but supporters insist modified foods can solve many of the world’s hunger problems through increased crop yields.

Richmond, BC: Richmond City Council voted unanimously to make Richmond a GE crop and GE tree free zone. Congratulations to local community organizers and CBAN Member GE Free BC on this tremendous outcome from years of hard work.

Richmond City Council takes a stand against genetically engineered crops

Richmond, British Columbia, 22nd May 2012
Press release

The Richmond Food Security Society and the Society for a Genetically Free (GE) BC would like to warmly congratulate Richmond City Council on its courageous stand against GE crops and trees at its General Meeting on the 22nd May.

The two Societies introduced a resolution asking Richmond to become a GE free crop zone. At its General Purposes Meeting, Richmond Councillors unanimously supported the idea, as well as the need for mandatory labelling of GE crops, and more public education.

Long time Councillor Harold Steves, whose family has farmed in the area for three generations, spoke passionately about how GE alfalfa, if approved, would destroy a lifetime of work as an organic farmer because of contamination. Councillor Chak Au spoke in favour of the resolution saying that this was the most important issue that had come up in his tenure as Councillor, and stressed the need for Richmond to ensure the safety of its community. Other Councillors talked of their concern that introducing new GE crops and trees could potentially lead to economic loss for Richmond, and that the public is not sufficiently aware that it is eating GE foods and the potential health risks of this. Council will finalize the wording of the resolution which should be available in two weeks.

A number of community members including local farmers spoke about their concerns over the health and environmental impacts of GE crops. Arzeena Hamir, the former coordinator of the Richmond Food Security Society, submitted a petition with 1,000 signatures in favour of the resolution, and emphasized the difference this resolution would make to local businesses involved with sustainable agriculture. Tony Beck from GE Free BC noted the importance of including local farmers currently growing GE corn in a community dialogue around sustainable development. Dag Falck from Nature’s Path spoke to the difficulties his company has in sourcing organic ingredients because of contamination from GE crops. GE Free BC would also like to recognize the work of community activist April Reeves for her work on this resolution and against genetic engineering in BC.

Richmond is a municipality of almost 200,000 people to the south of Vancouver, and has about 200 farms. There are seven GE free zones in British Columbia – Powell River, Kaslo, New Denver, Nelson, Rossland, Salt Spring Island, and Denman Island.

For more information go to http://gefreebc.wordpress.com/and for the national GE campaign www.cban.ca

For further details contact Arzeena Hamir at 604 727 9728  and Tony Beck at 604 671 2106

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Suite 206, 180 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 1P5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext. 25
Fax: 613 241 2506
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

 

Richmond bans genetically modified plants

The Canadian Press May 23, 2012

RICHMOND, B.C. — Richmond City Council says engineered crops and plants have no place the gardens of Metro Vancouver.

Councillors have voted unanimously to ban further genetically modified species from Richmond soil, although the ban is unenforceable, because genetically engineered plants are regulated by the federal government, not local authorities.

Activist Arzeena Hamir fought for the Richmond decision and is pleased the city has joined Powell River, Salt Spring Island and the Kootenay communities of Nelson, Rossland and Kaslo in banning scientifically altered crops.

The ban comes just days after orchardists in B.C.’s Okanagan region voiced concern about the possible arrival of genetically modified fruit trees.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is considering an application to allow an engineered variety of apple, called the Arctic Apple, that has a trait preventing the fruit from browning when cut.

Growers fear customers will reject tinkered fruit and the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association has already passed a resolution opposing genetic modification, but supporters insist modified foods can solve many of the world’s hunger problems through increased crop yields.


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