POLITICS

Genetically modified plants won't take root with councillors in Richmond, B.C.

05/23/2012 11:49 EDT | Updated 07/23/2012 05:12 EDT
RICHMOND, B.C. - Richmond City Council says engineered crops and plants have no place the gardens of Metro Vancouver.

Councillors have voted unanimously to ban further genetically modified species from Richmond soil, although the ban is unenforceable, because genetically engineered plants are regulated by the federal government, not local authorities.

Activist Arzeena Hamir fought for the Richmond decision and is pleased the city has joined Powell River, Salt Spring Island and the Kootenay communities of Nelson, Rossland and Kaslo in banning scientifically altered crops.

The ban comes just days after orchardists in B.C.'s Okanagan region voiced concern about the possible arrival of genetically modified fruit trees.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is considering an application to allow an engineered variety of apple, called the Arctic Apple, that has a trait preventing the fruit from browning when cut.

Growers fear customers will reject tinkered fruit and the B.C. Fruit Growers' Association has already passed a resolution opposing genetic modification, but supporters insist modified foods can solve many of the world's hunger problems through increased crop yields. (CKNW, News1130)