Sunday, February 6, 2011

Agricultural Estimates 2009 - Lana Popham, NDP MLA, asks the Minister of Agriculture about GMO seed research being done in BC.

Agricultural Estimates 2009 -Lana Popham asks the Minister of Agriculture about GMO seed research being done in BC.

2009 Legislative Session: First Session, 39th Parliament

"Hon. S. Thomson: The $4 million that the member opposite is referring to…. These are staff resources in our research innovation policy development branch. This covers industry specialists who work around the province supporting the industry in development initiatives. This is our policy development branch within the ministry that helps work on strategic policy in support of the industry.

L. Popham: Is there a way that the agriculture community has of applying for some of this money for innovation and research?

Hon. S. Thomson: There are research dollars available to industry through Growing Forward and through the Investment Agriculture Foundation and through the B.C. Innovation Council, which the province has invested in — not within this specific vote that you're referring to here. That's what the industry specialists and staff resources do, and that is assist industry in working with them to support their research needs through those programs.
There are resources in all of those agencies and programs available for that purpose. If there were any specific interests that you had to bring forward, then we could certainly have our industry specialists work on looking at where the most appropriate place to direct those research needs would be.

L. Popham: I'm wondering: in the research side of it, is there research being done right now on genetically modified seeds for British Columbia?
Hon. S. Thomson: Not by the province of British Columbia.

L. Popham: Are there any companies that this money is supporting that are doing that research?

Hon. S. Thomson: Not to the best of our knowledge.

L. Popham: I think it's quite critical that as a province we take a stand on genetically modified seed. I'm wondering if the province would be going in that direction.

Hon. S. Thomson: We have not contemplated a specific policy on that at this point, but I would be pleased to meet with the member opposite to discuss it and to hear her views on it.

L. Popham: Thank you. That sounds like a great offer. I would love to do that.

I can't wait to get back to the Legislature to continue this discussion......." 

I guess this was before the non-browning GMO apple developed in BC was announced.

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