Health forum packs Filberg

The hunger for information about what is in our food, and what is safe, filled a public forum on Health and GE Foods in Courtenay.

The hunger for information about what is in our food, and what is safe, filled the recent public forum on Health and GE (genetically engineered) Foods Nov. 14 at the Filberg Centre.

An estimated 200 people heard three speakers with different experiences with GE products.

Dr. Thierry Vrain is a scientist previously working on GE products for Agriculture Canada. He explained why he has changed his mind on the usefulness and safety of GE foods.

Jan Slomp, a conventional dairy farmer in the Netherlands, and more recently Alberta, told how he is saving money by not using chemicals or GE seeds for his dairy herd.

And Colin Palmer, chair of the Powell River Regional District, reviewed how and why his board declared Powell River a GE-Free Crop Zone, to encourage local economic development.

Susan Holvenstot, one of the organizers from GE Watch Comox Valley said, “This was a very successful event, and we hope to continue sharing information about the risks associated with genetically engineered products in the supermarkets, and in our Comox Valley farmlands.”

There were quite a few dairy farmers, and other farmers, in the standing-room-only hall.

“Some hard questions were asked, and some passion was expressed, but overall it was a respectful discussion of this important local concern,” Holvenstot said.

This was the start to a cross-Canada GE Free tour with Dr. Vrain, and another scientist, Dr. Shiv Chopra, planning to visit over 100 towns and cities. Over $400 was raised to support the tour.

For more information, see http://gefreecomoxvalley.wordpress.com or gewatch@live.com.

— GE Watch Comox Valley

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