Say NO to Genetic Engineering

P.O. Box 20228
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 7A2

Since the petition for a 10 year moratorium was tabled in the Yukon Legislature the GE Free website has had over 50 hits and GE Free Yukon has received 40 letters of support. This does not include letters that were sent directly to the Government.

Over half of these letters contain substantial personal support for the petition and offer ideas  how to significantly capitalize  on this move toward a Yukon GE Free Zone. Emails have been received from England, USA, across Canada and many from the Yukon. Colleen Ross from the National Farmer's Union is quite interested and pointed out a very good brief that was written by the NFU for the  Prince Edward Island campaign that tried to have their Island declared a GM Free Zone.

The two most outstanding emails thus far came from Dr  Mae-Wan Ho, a top scientist in independent research based in England and Dag Falck, Nature’s Path Organic Program Manager.  Dr Mae-Wan Ho's  website is a wealth of information on Genetic Engineering and many other projects. Nature’s Path®, founded in 1985, is the largest organic cereal manufacturer in North America.

By far the most passionate support comes from our own here in the Yukon. They describe the incredible opportunity for farmers in the Yukon. They cite examples of products such as organic honey which is tough to produce anywhere else on the continent. They also speak of the seed bank the Yukon could become for the rest  of the country.

I am also compelled to comment on the idea of the petition itself. When the thought came for taking the idea of a GE Free Yukon to the Yukon Government, the suggestion from the government was a petition which would provide the support Government needs to have in order to move forward.  Letters of support from the community and presentations were stressed as essential for support.

We have to understand that a petition is nothing more than a notification to Government that a group of people have a concern. Whether the Government acts on this or not is the government's choice. The Honorable Minister Archie Lang will have five minutes in which to give a response to this petition on or before December 10. There is no debate on it at that time. His response could be merely an acknowledgement of the petition.

If Minister Lang is positive toward the petition, work could begin examining the possibility of a moratorium. What will be needed in this case would be a piece of legislation which cannot be looked at until the spring sitting of the legislature at the earliest.

Although the Government does not need to attach any importance to any information except what is written on the petition, all the support in the form of emails and discussion with MLA's can only help to bolster the ground swell of support for a healthier, sustainable future for our children and the environment of the Yukon.

Another update will follow as changes occur and Minister Archie Lang's response in the legislature will be posted here.

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© Tom Rudge 2007