On Oct. 19 Courtenay council passed a resolution to study the effect of a GMO Free preferential procurement policy. Perhaps the city should consider an organic preferential policy instead.
The Canadian Government defines organic as “Free of GMO, pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones and antibiotics….” (CAN/CSGB 32.310-2006).
An organic preferential buying policy would capture all the products listed above and keep them out of our bodies, it would also be easy to implement as all organic products are clearly labelled in Canada and the U.S. and organic implies GMO free.
It is evident that consumers want organic products, you simply have to see the growing size of organic offerings in the supermarket to realize that this is a growing trend.
Many merchants selling at the Comox Valley Farmers Market produce organically and this trend is also growing.
This resolution only impacts the purchasing decisions of the city and regardless of how much organic products the city purchases, no large scale farms that produce non-GMO free products could possibly be financially impacted, as the mayor suggested.
It is a bit ironic that Courtenay which has a “no herbicide use inside city limit” bylaw to provide its citizens with a safer environment is not prepared to go the next step and make an effort to keep it citizens safer by keeping the same poisons out of the food supplied by the city.
Adopting an organic preferential buying policy is not a big deal; it means that you buy organic when you can and when it makes sense. The city would be aligned with its existing position on herbicide use in the city and would take another meaningful step toward positive change.