A letter writer supports the city’s decision to allow residents (such as Kate McMaster

Live here, eat here, grow here

I call upon Surrey City Council to declare Surrey the 62nd genetically engineered-free zone in British Columbia.

I am writing in response to “Chickens come home to roost,” (Surrey Leader, July 11).

I applaud the City of Surrey’s decision to allow chickens on properties smaller than one acre. To paraphrase Mayor Watts, people want fresh fruit, fresh produce and fresh free-range eggs. In the current North American food system, it is estimated that, on average, food travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate.

By the time it reaches our homes, it is far from fresh. More and more people are waking up to the fact that our modern society has lost food security.

Mass-produced processed food from all corners of the globe and big-agri methods of growing produce, beef, poultry and pork have combined to give us a food system that is bad for us and the environment.

Urban gardens and backyard chickens are an indication that we want to reclaim our food. According to the article, the mayor has indicated this is the direction the city wants to go in with respect to food production.

The article mentions the renaming of the Agricultural Advisory Committee. It is now the Agriculture and Food Security Advisory Committee. For me the key word is “security.”

However, food security is not possible when so much of the food growing/production is controlled by Monsanto and other multinational corporations. The monumental issue of  the ever-increasing presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food is one that must be changed if we are truly to have food security.

The promise of GMOs was that: they would solve world hunger; improve life in the developing world; allow farmers to generate higher crop yields; and reduce reliance on pesticides. None of those promises has come to fruition.

Rather than increased yields, farmers have seen smaller yields. During the California droughts last summer, conventional crops fared much better than the GMO crops, which mostly failed.

If anything, GMOs have worsened life for the subsistence farmers of India and elsewhere. Forced to go into debt every year to purchase GMO cotton seeds from Monsanto (GMO seeds are sterile so farmers can no longer save seeds from year to year), farmers are left in debt at the end of the season if the crop fails.

To date, nearly 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide to escape the crushing debt load.

Rather than decreased pesticide use, we are seeing more Monsanto Roundup being used. In the first 13 years of GMOs (1996-2009), American farmers sprayed an additional 383 million pounds of herbicide. Mother Nature is responding with devastating superweeds so that farmers are forced to spray more and more. Since 1996, at least nine new species of weeds have developed that are resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup.

I call upon Surrey City Council to declare Surrey the 62nd genetically engineered-free zone in British Columbia. I wish to see Surrey be a community where no GMO life form is grown, created, patented, approved, bought or sold. If  Surrey’s city councillors truly care about food security and the heath and well-being of its residents, that is as good a place to begin as any.

 

C.A. Archibald, Surrey

Just Posted

Man injured in early-morning Surrey shooting

Police say it was targeted and it ‘may be connected to drug trafficking’

‘Do the right thing,’ implores sister of South Surrey stabbing victim

IHIT confirms male arrested in connection with Paul Prestbakmo’s death no longer in custody

Groovy South Surrey wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

FOOTBALL: 50 years of Bronze Boot battles in Surrey

With Jean McPherson, Joe Connelly helps plan annual tournament, set for Aug. 24-25

Officials say 50 Oppenheimer Park residents have agreed to leave, as deadline looms

Residents have been told they must be gone by 6 p.m. on Aug. 21

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience the ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read