GE free procurement is easy to adopt

Dear editor,

A GE free (genetically engineer free) preferential procurement policy is being considered at Courtenay City Hall (Record Oct 23, 2015).

It will apply to City Hall when it buys food for its own events or buys plants for city beautification. It will not affect anyone else’s purchasing decisions.(Just like a mother shopping for her own family).

Some say that a GE Free procurement policy is impossible to implement. I think that it is not only possible, but easy to do and it is the way of the future. The label GMO is often used interchangeably with GE. Genetic engineering is the technique whereas the product is often referred to as GMO (genetically modified organism).

The market obeys consumers’ demand for healthier choices. Ten years ago it was hard to find organic/GMO free products in major grocery chains but now there is a green aisle in Superstore, and organic chicken and fruits and veggies in Costco. It is becoming easier and easier to find GMO Free products.

The non-GMO label, a  small stamp of  an orange butterfly, is found on many packaged goods. It is a third-party certification that no genetically engineered ingredients were used to produce this product. The prices of these products are similar to conventional brands. Since the federal governments of US and Canada do not have a strong GMO labelling policy, this non-GMO project, started in 2007, fills the gap to provide consumers with non-gmo choices.

As local caterers and restaurants vie to fulfil the demand of customers and increasingly promote organic content to attract clientele, it is obvious that a GE free procurement is not only doable but desirable. Let Courtenay city hall be among the leaders in this forward looking policy.

Linda Cheu



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