LETTER: The other side of the genetically-modified food coin

A public forum on genetically modified (GM) foods seems to have forgotten there are two sides to every story.

Editor:

Re: Keep things as nature intended (Sept. 28 issue of the Grand Forks Gazette)

A recent public forum on genetically modified (GM) foods seems to have forgotten there are two sides to every story.

The Grand Forks Gazette further perpetuated this in a recent article and editorial.

I’d like to provide readers with more information so they have the chance to explore as many views as possible so they can make up their own minds after hearing all of the facts.

What residents of British Columbia should know is that GM crops are subject to Canada’s strict regulatory standards which ensure that Canadians have access to one of the safest food supplies in the world.

Extensive safety reviews are completed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada to ensure all products are safe for people, animals, plants and the environment.

In fact, Health Canada states that GM crops are just as safe as non-GM crops.

Canada is not alone on this front. Regulatory agencies around the world and international organizations, including the World Health Organization, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, have all endorsed the safety of GM crops.

Biotech crops are a crucial component of agriculture today and they hold even greater promise for the future, especially when you consider how they can bring health benefits to consumers.

GM crops can eliminating or reducing trans-fats, enhancing vitamin and antioxidant levels in fruits and vegetables, and preventing blindness caused by nutritional deficiency in developing countries by increasing the amount of Vitamin A in rice.

Canadians should feel confident to choose foods that contain ingredients derived from GM crops, particularly given the environmental sustainability benefits of growing them such as the reduced requirement for tillage and the ability to grow more crops on less land.

Lorne Hepworth, President, CropLife Canada