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Letters  

Organic GMOs

Organic activists would like you to believe their brand preexists in nature the way fresh air and clean water do.

It does not.

Organic food only exists because we have come up with a legal framework by which to define it; a mind-numbing legal framework... just ask any organic farmer who's behind on his paperwork.

If we were to decide tomorrow that certain GMOs would be acceptable as organic, as President Clinton suggested, we could rewrite the law. Or we can leave things the way they are, embroiled in controversy. It's up to humans to define what "organic" means, either way.

Then there's the notion that GMOs "contaminate" organic crops, as if we're talking about dumping effluents into a pristine stream full of brook trout.

We're not. We're talking about politics, plain and simple.

GMOs are completely safe. So, if politicians should ever decide to agree that GMOs actually “contaminate” organic crops, it will be a political decision to devise a legal construct saying so, not a scientific decision.

So why is the idea of GMO contamination embraced so fervently by organic activists?

Simple. Their aim is to sideline agricultural genetic engineering, and thereby prevent GMO farming from moving forward.

Yes, organic standards do indeed stipulate how and when organic crops can become contaminated by synthetic pesticides. But there is nothing in Canada's (or America's) standards that explains how GMOs "contaminate" an organic crop. Organic farmers are only prevented from making use of GMOs due to a political aversion to this field of science that exists in urban organic circles.

Let's be clear. Not a single organic crop anywhere in the world has ever been de-certified as a result of pollen or plant-material drifting onto it from a GMO crop.

Not one.

And yet, even the proponents of GMO farming have come to believe that GMOs contaminate organic crops, wondering how they can help prevent it and, most absurdly, how to insure organic farmers against it.

Apocryphal stories abound of "organic shipments being rejected by buyers" who, we are told, insist on absolute genetic purity. But 43% of American organic food tests positive for prohibited pesticides, a number that's even higher in Canada. Why, don't organic buyers ever reject those loads?

Simple. Organic stakeholders no longer care about synthetic pesticides or synthetic fertilizer, even when used fraudulently by organic farmers. They have concluded, erroneously, that the only way forward for organic farming is to ban all new GMO crops.

Nice try, but the jig is up. And no… it is not "inflammatory" or “mean-spirited” to point any of this out. It's the law.

Organic standards were written by organic stakeholders, so there is absolutely no excuse for ignoring them. There's been peaceful coexistence between organic and GMO farmers since GMOs were first introduced two decades ago. And there is, in point of fact, no basis for a GMO-free definition of organic. The whole premise of being organic is, after all, pure artifice from start to finish.

The time has come to stop organic activists from creating controversy where none exists. We should strengthen the peaceful coexistence that has always existed between organic and GMO farmers wherever GMOs are grown, and look forward to the day when we might even see the world's first certified-organic, genetically-modified crop.

In fact, it would be mean-spirited to do otherwise.

Mischa Popoff





KGH parking problems

When asked to weigh in on KGH privatizing jobs from KGH laundry workers, Mayor Basran stated "We don't put our nose in their business. Health care is a mandate that's delivered by Interior Health and the provincial government, so we are going to allow them to make those decisions." (July 14 2015 Castanet)

And yet he seems to have become a self-appointed chairperson of KGH Parking Services. He has gone so far as to call for an increase in parking rates for KGH employees as a way to force them to buy a bus pass as his fix what is clearly an abysmal parking situation at and around KGH. It is unclear to me why Mayor Basran declares neutrality on some issues, and yet seeks to come across as a self-appointed expert on solving the KGH parking situation. He demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of many core issues:

- The bus service Mayor Basran so desperately wants more people to purchase passes for is simply not an option for many hospital employees. Reliability aside, buses don't run at the required hours for shift workers to get there for the start of their shifts. On days when the buses are running, the prospect spending an hour on the bus, working a 12-13 hour shift, then spending another hour on the bus to get home to your family just is not realistic.

- Parking at KGH has been poorly managed for years. They have been directed to deal with the parking woes over the years, but many of the problems remain. I am on the waiting list for a KGH parking pass, and I have been informed the waiting list is over 3 years long.

- Those who park legally on the surrounding streets under current parking bylaws routinely are yelled at and harassed by residents, and I can't count how many times I have come back to my car to find a local resident who has spat all over the windows of my car.

- As a nurse, I have on numerous occasions been caring for a patient who is actively dying surrounded by their family, only to have one of the teary-eyed mourners announce they have to go move their vehicle or feed the meter. The fact that they feel their final hours with their loved ones ought to interrupted to satisfy poor parking conditions makes me sick to my stomach

Mayor Basran, I suggest that before you chide others for not taking the bus, that you pause long enough to inform yourself of the actual root of the problem. Employees cannot use a service that is neither practical nor possible for most of the staff at KGH.

Rob World



Diabetes awareness month

Students and teachers of Glenrosa Elementary school wore blue on November 29th to support 2 of their students, Danielle and Ben who both have type 1 diabetes. 

November was national diabetes awareness month. 

Glenrosa Elementary school treats their students as family, and what better way to show support, educate and raise awareness for two of their own who battle type 1 diabetes. 

Cindy Maycock



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Wrong move

Dear Colin,

I told you we would be keeping an eye on what you do. Today the Kelowna City Council made a very poor decision to fine homeless people for sleeping on the sidewalk. 

Do any of you have a conscience or compassion? 

These people barely have money for food, they cannot sleep in parks and shelters are not always a choice. Its easy for you to sit on a high horse and judge however you have no idea how people got there. I have seen better people with more than any of you destroyed by a doctors 'legal' prescription and end up forced to sleep where they may. Most in this province are only a few paycheques away from being homeless themselves.

You may still reverse course however should the council continue down this road, one that cares more about looks and appearances than lives they will regret it.
 
Save your spin on safety. The spin doctors and the media are just as guilty as those of you who believe measures like these are a good idea.

Christopher Burke



Sentence in case an outrage

As a committed advocate for the right to life of children before birth, one of the many pro-abortion canards repeatedly thrown my way goes something like this: “why don’t you put all your efforts and resources into helping children that already born!” To which I always reply, “aside from the fact that pro-lifers do many, many things for born children and women, it isn’t legal to kill born children yet. When it is, however, you can be sure pro-lifers will be the first ones to oppose that injustice too.”

I’m sure to say “yet” and “when” because I believe that when society devalues one group of human beings (at this time in history, pre-born babies), all human life is devalued.  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” MLK Jr. famously said.

Further, I’ve always argued that there is no moral difference between a born baby and an unborn baby, so the killing of the pre-born is equally immoral as killing infants.  The infamous, pro-infanticide Princeton Professor Peter Singer agrees with me (albeit in reaching the exact opposite conclusion), writing in his book Practical Ethics, “if, for the reasons I have given, the fetus does not have the same claim to life as a person, it appears that the newborn baby does not either.”

Do I really believe that the day will come killing unwanted born infants will be legal in Canada? Yes I do, at the very least the terminally ill and disabled, and it appears we have taken a huge “progressive” step toward that right here in B.C.

This week, Judge Len Marchand of Kamloops gave Courtney Saul a mere 2 years’s probation for drowning her newborn son in her kitchen sink. She had just given birth to the baby, George Carlos, and had an exam to get to that day. She didn’t know what else to do with her baby, apparently, so she drowned him, stuffed his corpse into a computer box, and threw him in her trunk to rot.

The less than lenient sentence has rightfully sparked outrage on social media. A visit to the National Post facebook page shows that aside from the odd radical feminist sympathizer, the vast majority of comments are expressing anger and disbelief.

So who is Judge Len Marchand? Well, interestingly enough it turns out his father held a cabinet position in the Pierre Trudeau government. Remember him? He’s the P.M. who said "the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation" in order to justify legalizing the killing pre-born babies. Maybe sons Justin and Len Jr. can carry on the legacy and tell us the state has no business in the kitchens of the nation?

Marlon Bartram
Kelowna Right to Life Society



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