GE food and human health the topic at local seminar

The Grand Forks Seniors’ Centre was the host for a seminar on genetically engineered (GE) foods and human health

Dr. Thierry Vrain talks about genetically engineered foods and human health during a seminar at the Grand Forks’ Seniors’ Centre on Dec. 5.

The Grand Forks Seniors’ Centre was the host for a seminar on genetically engineered (GE) foods and human health – a cross-Canada speakers tour on Dec. 5.The seminar featured speakers Dr. Thierry Vrain and Dr. Shiv Chopra speaking about the risks of GE foods from a scientific point of view.“It was very informative,” said Sheila Dobie, president of the Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society. “There was lots of stuff to be learned by the community. I think it was an excellent event.”After the speakers were finished, members of the audience were invited to ask questions. One of those asking questions was councillor Gary Smith, who operates a pest management business in the region. He is also the councillor to opposed the recent vote to have Grand Forks be known as a “GE free city.”Smith asked if glyphosphates (pesticides) had been found in urine, doesn’t that mean it has travelled through the body and is not affecting people. “If you’re saying that we’re all eating pesticide-laced foods, are we? Are you sure? And how is it affecting us?” asked Smith.“Yes. I’m sure,” countered Vrain. “If you find it in your urine it had to go through your intestine. It kills the bacteria in your intestine.”Smith told Vrain that, “it stirs up fear.”Smith attempted to follow up his question with a statement, but was told it was someone else’s turn to speak. The councillor eventually left.“He, unfortunately, misunderstood the intention of the evening,” said Dobie. “He thought it was a debate and it really wasn’t a debate. He made comments and tried to ask some questions but it was more of a debate-type that was curious for.”The event was sponsored by the Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society; Alex Atamanenko, Southern Interior MP; and the National Farmer’s Union.

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