Cherries for China, Pits and Pollution for BC!

Lavington Industrial OrchardWhen I wrote the article below I had not realized the extent of the ravages to rural areas that are inherent in the 2014 Canada-China Cherry Agreement.  In order to grow the industry as much as predicted growers buy land in areas that are "suitable" only because deafening equipment such as helicopters and fans are used, making life unlivable for neighbours and because constant spraying pollute the air, water and nearby crops.

The 2014 agreement plans to cover the Okanagan (see map attachment) with industrial cherry orchards, although government acknowledges that growing cherries industrially conflicts with life in the Okanagan. This was admitted in the report written last week during the BC Farm Industry Review Board in Vernon where two complainants asked for a reduction of the incessant noise emitted from a Lavington orchard. See report and closing document of complainants below where they argue that this is NOT normal farming.

The report states:

"Unfortunately, the same factors (sun, water, soils, slopes) that attract the agriculture producers of the province to the valley also encourage non - farming residents to live, work and recreate in the valley.  These competing interests for a limited resource can lead to conflict and this conflict continues to grow as the population of the Okanagan grows and agricultural production continues to expand and change focus ( i .e . dairy to cherry) . " 

 They call "non farming residents" farmers who farm traditionally, without helicopters and other noise making technology.

Why You Don't Want Industrial Orchards in Your Community

helicopter drying cherriesOnce they come, forget about your peace of mind, clean air and water, seeing birds and wildlife and selling your property. You won't want to stay in it and nobody in their right mind will want to buy it. All it takes is one in an area to make properties unsalable and turn a lovely rural community into an area that sounds like a war zone and is unfit to live. Industrial cherry orchardists are on the lookout for cheap land and climate change is now making it possible to use land further north.

These Are Not Your Father’s GMOs

Canola gene-edited clonesA new wave of gene-edited crops are dodging regulators, and they’re about to reach stores.

by Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewDecember 19, 2017

When I visited Jason McHenry’s farm in South Dakota, the young farmer, dressed in worn jeans and sunglasses, led me up a slippery steel ladder on the side of a grain bin. We tumbled through the manhole into a shifting mountain of soybeans. You could sift them through your fingers and taste their sweet, cloudy flavor.

The U.S. soybean crop is four billion bushels a year, about 240 billion pounds. It generates the most cash receipts for American farms after cattle and corn. Of those beans, more than 90 percent are genetically modified organisms, or GMOs—that is, they’ve been genetically enhanced, most often through the addition of a gene from a soil bacterium that renders them immune to the weed killer glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup.

Read more ...

Health Costs from Chemical Exposures May Exceed 10% of the Global GDP

(Beyond Pesticides, December 13, 2017) A recent study finds that environmental exposures contribute to increasing disease burden and corresponding health costs that may exceed 10% of global gross domestic product (GDP). Neurological impairments particularly add significant costs to both individuals and societies. This European study combined cost calculations for exposures to environmental chemicals, including pesticides, air pollution, and endocrine disrupting substances, and suggests that a shift in priority setting for environmental policy is needed.

Pesticide Residues Difficult to Wash Off Food

(Beyond Pesticides, October 27, 2017) In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists at University of Massachusetts, Amherst identify a novel approach to reduce toxic pesticide residues on conventional food. The method the authors describe is cumbersome and unlikely to be widely used by consumers ...

Largest Field Study Finds Neonicotinoids Decimate Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, July 3, 2017)
A two-year long study conducted at 33 sites in multiple European countries to assess the effects of neonicotinoid (neonics) insecticides on three bee species in real-world environmental conditions confirms that these pesticides have a deleterious effect on bee survival. The study, the largest of its kind, explored the role of the agricultural use of neonics as seed coatings on bee health and fnds that the pesticides are persistent in the environment, contaminating pollen and nectar that bees forage, reducing colony fitness.


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