Index to categories of information on this web site


About GMO

About GMO

Index of information on this web site about Genetically Modified Organisms & the harmful effects of pesticides


What is GMO?

What is GMO? rustique

GMO stands for “genetically modified organism”. Sometimes you'll see "GE" in this context, which stands for "genetically engineered".

Farmers are not allowed to save seeds from their GM plants, so they must buy seeds and special pesticides every year.

GM plants cross-pollinate with other plants, giving control of our food to corporations by undermining our ability to grow, sell, and eat organic food. When corporations rule our food, we lose food security, plant diversity, small family farms, and the choice of what we grow and eat.

GM plants are banned in Germany, Ireland, Hungary and many other places. Many US and Canadians regions are now declaring themselves GE or GMO Free. Canada does not label GM foods, although there is a Non GMO Project where food producers can be verified as meeting the Project's Standard.

What Crops may be GMO in Canada?

What Crops may be GMO in Canada? rustique

Genetically modified canola, corn, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets and alfalfa are currently grown in Canada. Apples have also been approved for production in Canada but are not yet being commercially grown. A further four GM crops are grown in other parts of the world – cotton, eggplant, papaya and squash. The GMO crop golden rice – which is vitamin A-enhanced – has been approved as safe for sale by Health Canada

GMO Threats

GMO Threats rustique

GM crops are dangerous, and yet they are taking over our rural communities and our food system. It is difficult if not impossible to find soy, corn and canola crops that are non-GMO.

Canada also grows GM sugar beets. As you can imagine, most foods on store shelves contain some GMO in the form of sugar, corn syrup, corn, soy or canola.

Yet a study in Argentina called "Argentina's Roundup Human Tragedy - GM Soy a Death Sentence for Humans and the Environment" proves that GM crops should never have been allowed.

Genetic modification plays with the building blocks of life, yet this technology was allowed in Canada without any longitudinal studies ever being performed. The first longitudinal study occurred in Russia in 2010 and linked GM soy to infertility, infant mortality, slower growth and disrupted DNA functions. How will these crops affect humans after 2 or 3 generations? See: and for a more detailed analysis:….

Because GMO plants cross-pollinate with traditional and organic crops in the same families, and GM crops require drenching with glyphosate pesticides, GMO crops take away our freedom to grow safe non-GMO foods. For example, canola is in the brassica family, affecting turnips, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.

We have written, petitioned and begged all levels of government to take action and protect us, to no avail. Canada still refuses to label GM foods and no other level of government has acted.

This is why it is crucial to have a Bee SAFE movement now, to show that we want a SAFE agriculture while we can still protect ourselves from this destructive agriculture.

Harm from Pesticides

Harm from Pesticides rustique

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup®, and over a hundred other commercial formulations. It is a cause of great concern, as evidence of its harmful effects keeps piling up.

Independent scientific studies in recent years link pesticides to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, reproductive and developmental toxicities, neuro-toxicity, cancer, and birth defects.

"The European Commission approved glyphosate knowing, as Monsanto did, that it causes birth defects, while the public were kept in the dark, the herbicide must now be banned" Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho.

Glyphosate is absorbed through the leaves and spreads throughout the plant, including the roots and seeds. Glyphosate is systemic; it can’t be washed off because it’s inside the plant.

The Argentinan experience is dire. 'Argentina's Roundup human tragedy - GM Soy, a death sentence for humans and the environment' shows how 10 years of GM soy and glyphosate have escalated the rates of cancer and birth defects.  See:,….

In addition glyphosate has now proven to cause yield reduction and crop damages in other crops.

Roundup and Birth Defects

Roundup and Birth Defects rustique

The pesticide industry and EU regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s-1990s that Roundup, the world's best selling herbicide, causes birth defects – but they failed to inform the public.

This report, co-authored by international scientists and researchers, reveals that industry’s own studies (including one commissioned by Monsanto) showed as long ago as the 1980s that Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate causes birth defects in laboratory animals.

Open Letter from World Scientists Concerning GMOs

Open Letter from World Scientists Concerning GMOs rustique

We, the undersigned scientists, call for the immediate suspension of all environmental releases of GM crops and products, both commercially and in open field trials, for at least 5 years; for patents on living processes, organisms, seeds, cell lines and genes to be revoked and banned; and for a comprehensive public enquiry into the future of agriculture and food security for all.

Patents on life-forms and living processes should be banned because they threaten food security, sanction biopiracy of indigenous knowledge and genetic resources, violate basic human rights and dignity, compromise healthcare, impede medical and scientific research and are against the welfare of animals.

"Grass Fed" does NOT mean "Grass Fed ONLY"

"Grass Fed" does NOT mean "Grass Fed ONLY"

"Grass fed" is a label often appearing on meat and dairy. It's a positive marketing signal because grass-fed is generally considered to be a healthier option than grain-fed. It's also better for the environment; grazing animals require no tilling of fields, and deposit their manure naturally, reducing their carbon footprint as compared to the inputs required for growing grain. Grazing animals can also co-exist with wildlife, unlike grain monocultures.

Cow grazingIn the case of meat "grass fed" most often applies to beef and lamb. Per pound, grass fed beef and lamb has less total fat, and therefore fewer calories. The nutritional content of that fat is also different. Grass fed beef has as much as five times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids as grain fed beef.

In the case of dairy the label refers to the animal the milk comes from, most usually cows, but also commonly goats.

Both meat and dairy from grass fed animals contain 300–500% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than from animals fed grain. The links below point to discussions of the benefits of these fatty acids. Vitamin and mineral content are also improved when no grain is consumed.

However in Canada nothing can be assumed from a label claiming "grass fed". Although in the U.S. it's a term regulated by the USDA to certify that the cattle or sheep are not fed any grain, in Canada there is no such regulation, either federally or provincially. In fact, no limit is placed on the amount of grain fed!

The Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) organization — "a farmer-funded and farmer-run organization (not a government body)" — proposed a national Standard in 2019. But the Milk Boards of the provinces did not accept it, and no certifying body was assigned. The Standard allowed 25% of the cow's diet to consist of grains and supplements. The refusal of the provincial Milk Boards eliminated even this upper limit. "Grass Fed" in Canada means nothing.

And unless the product is certified Organic, the "grain and supplements" may be practically anything. Certainly it can have been sprayed with pesticide, and may even be GMO, as would almost certainly be the case with beet pulp supplementation for example.


The ‘Non-GMO’ Label Doesn’t Go Far Enough: Taking Stock of GMOs and Glyphosate

The ‘Non-GMO’ Label Doesn’t Go Far Enough: Taking Stock of GMOs and Glyphosate

Non-GMO does NOT mean free of pesticides

Non-GMO does NOT mean free of pesticides

Pharma Crops - Accident Waiting to Happen

Pharma Crops - Accident Waiting to Happen rustique

There are already documented environmental risks from GE crops, including the transfer of engineered traits to neighboring crops, effects on non-target insects, impacts on soil ecology, and potential threats to endangered species, among others. The genetic engineering industry objects to restrictions on environmental release of GE crops, claiming that it is impossible to meet farmer and consumer demands to keep these crops out of the natural food stream. Pharm crops raise all these environmental concerns, with even higher stakes for the food supply and the environment.

Web Sites

Web Sites

Web sites dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture

  • Canadian Biotechnology Action NetworkCanada — promotes food sovereignty and democratic decision-making on science and technology issues in order to protect the integrity of the environment, health, food, and livelihoods.  
  • Into the Weeds ImpactCanada and beyond — demands a glyphosate-free future.  
  • GE Free BCBritish Columbia — envisions a food-sovereign Canada where no genetically engineered life forms are created, patented, approved, bought, sold or traded.   
  • Sustainable Food TrustUK — is committed to exploring solutions for a food production system that causes the least possible harm to both humans and the environment.   
  • Sustainable PulseGlobal — provides the general public with the latest global news on GMOs, sustainable agriculture from a network of worldwide sources.   
  • GM WatchUK — provides the public with the latest news and comment on genetically modified (GMO) foods and crops and their associated pesticides.



Studies and Reports adducing scientific support for harms caused by pesticides in general, and glyphosate in particular.


Low-dose glyphosate exposure alters gut microbiota composition and modulates gut homeostasis

Low-dose glyphosate exposure alters gut microbiota composition and modulates gut homeostasis rustique

Glyphosate Exposure and Urinary Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in the Agricultural Health Study

Glyphosate Exposure and Urinary Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in the Agricultural Health Study rustique

Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) induce phenotypic imipenem resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) induce phenotypic imipenem resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa rustique

Perinatal exposure to a glyphosate pesticide formulation induces offspring liver damage

Perinatal exposure to a glyphosate pesticide formulation induces offspring liver damage rustique

Review Links Roundup to Diabetes, Autism, Infertility and Cancer

Review Links Roundup to Diabetes, Autism, Infertility and Cancer rustique

Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides

Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides rustique

The publication of a study in 2010, showing that a glyphosate herbicide formulation and glyphosate alone caused malformations in the embryos of Xenopus laevis and chickens through disruption of the retinoic acid signalling pathway, caused scientific and regulatory controversy. Debate centred on the effects of the production and consumption of genetically modified Roundup Ready® soy, which is engineered to tolerate applications of glyphosate herbicide.

Roundup Triggers Over 40 Plant Diseases and Endangers Health

Roundup Triggers Over 40 Plant Diseases and Endangers Health rustique


Videos rustique

Index to Video clips and Movies about GMO and the corporations that market them.

Presentation to Coldstream

Presentation to Coldstream rustique

Hoping to convince at least one nearby government council to restrict or ban GMO within its jurisdiction, BeeSAFE makes one more presentation, this time a 10-minute summary to Coldstream Municipal Council. Download the attached file "Talking points for a presentation" for the text used in this presentation.

Information to Present to your council or director regarding becoming

Genetically Engineered (GE) or Genetically Modified (GM) Crop FREE


GM Crops are designed to use chemicals that damage the environment, exterminates biodiversity, and threatens public health.

  1. Most GM crops are designed to have 2 traits: 1 – to resist the herbicide Roundup – called Roundup Ready Crops, and 2 – to produce an insecticide throughout the whole plant – called Bt crops.
  2. Roundup's active ingredient is Glyphosate. Contrary to claims from corporations, glyphosate does not disappear but remain in the soil, enters underground and above ground waterways, killing beneficial organisms and negatively affecting aquatic and soil life.
  3. Glyphosate is linked to spontaneous abortions in livestock, cancers and birth defects in humans.
  4. The new book called “A World in one Cubic Foot” shows that the more than 150 different soil plants and animals that aerate the soil, pollinate, nourish and suppress disease in plants, completely absent in GM corn fields.

GM Crops grown in our area.

  1. GM corn grown is already widely grown and GM canola test plots have been grown all over the riding.
  2. GM corn grown here is “roundup ready” meaning fields can be drenched with Roundup, killing every plant except the corn. Bt corn is not yet grown here because we are not yet fighting the corn borer but it will likely come due to warming seasons.
  3. At the moment, GM Roundup Ready crops are also sprayed with various insecticides proven to be toxic particularly to fetuses and banned in Europe, such as Lorsban (Chlorpyrifos) .

GM Contamination and New GM Crops:

  1. GM crops contaminate wild and cultivated plants of the same species. I would guess it would be impossible already to find non GM corn in our area. Tests from CBAN have shown that 33% of all sweet corn sold in farmers' markets and stores in BC and Ontario are contaminated.
  2. NON-GM canola and NON GM soy are almost impossible to find anywhere in the world.
  3. Mexico has now banned all GM Corn in order to try and protect corn genetics and the in the US. Oregon's Governor John Kitzhabe signed into law a bill banning commercial production of canola (rapeseed) until 2019 inside the three million acre Willamette Valley Protected District, one of the world’s pre-eminent vegetable seed producing regions.
  4. GM Alfalfa, the GM arctic apple, and GM pharmacrops, plants genetically altered to generate pharmaceuticals such as vaccines, blood thinners, insulin, right inside the plant are next to be approved in Canada. Pharmaceuticals could be grown inside existing or new GM crops.

Our Community's future:

  1. Farmers who welcomed GM crops were not immoral because they didn't realize the negative impacts those crops would have. Now that they know about the contamination and the fact that by using those crops they remove everyone else's right to grow organic or non GM crops, it is immoral to continue.
  2. At least 5 companies in Canada sell non GM corn seeds and it has been proven that non GM crops are less costly to grow.
  3. Conventional corn crops can also be very damaging to the environment and public health if they continue with the whole pesticide regime so shifting to ecological farming should be strongly encouraged.
  4. Ontario Farmers and BC orchardists have already taken position against GM alfalfa and GM apple.
  5. People are looking for rural areas where they can be safe from GM contamination which is why now more than 60 BC areas have declared their intention to be GE Free, making sure they can attract farming that is positive for the region, reducing water pollution and increasing soil fertility.

What YOU can do:

  1. You can declare our community's intention to be GE Free and make it illegal to bring in any new GM Crop while giving existing GM crop farmers 3 years to transition to non GM Crops.
  2. This will tell chemical corporations such as ....and GM crop farmers to stay away and will attract organic growers and families looking for healthy environments.
  3. It will also protect our community from inevitable legal challenges such as organic farmers who are prevented or restricted from growing due to GM contamination, as well as the legal rights of citizens whose air, groundwater and soil is being contaminated by poisonous substances such as Roundup and Lorsban (Chlorpyrifos) used on Canola test plots near schools,
  4. How are Roundup Ready crops and the pesticides they use this affecting our water supply? Water treatment plants do not removes pesticides, herbicides, and most agricultural chemicals.
  5. The contamination issues, the harm to the environment and the risks to public health are the reasons that 60% of BC politicians want to make BC completely GE Free.

Therefore we are asking council to take a stand against the planting of New GM crops and declare its intention to protect organic and conventional growers by shifting its agriculture to Non GM crops.

Municipal Hall - 9901 Kalamalka Rd

Gene Revolution – by Thierry Vrain

Gene Revolution – by Thierry Vrain rustique

How Corruption in Canadian Govt is Spoiling our Food - Shiv Chopra

How Corruption in Canadian Govt is Spoiling our Food - Shiv Chopra rustique



Index of information on this web site about growing plants.


Planting Guide - Common Garden Vegetables

Planting Guide - Common Garden Vegetables
Name                        Latin                         Planting        Planting          Germination            Days to            How        Isolation     Min plants  Seeds per      Usual
                                                                    Depth         Distance           Temp in C        Germination    Pollintated   Distance      Needed        10 gram                    Seed Life

Bean, Bush  A          Phaseolus vulgaris       1 -2”              8”                 15 5 - 8             Self                     6 Meters            25 - 50                                25 - 30                                3 - 4 years 
Bean, Pole   A          Phaseolus vulgaris       1 -2”              6-8”                 15 5 - 8             Self                     800 Meters        25                                       25 - 30                                3 - 4 years 
Bean, Runner  A      Phaseolus coccineus    1 -2”              6-8”                 15 6-14             Self                     800 Meters         25                                        8  -10                                4 - 5 years 
Beet  B                     Beta vulgaris               1/2 -3/4”        4-6”                 10 4 - 10             Wind                   3-8 Kilometers   10                                       450                                   5 - 6 years 
Broccoli                   Brassica oleracea         1/4”              12-18”                 7 3 - 10             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                       1,750                                 4 - 5 years 
Brussels Sprout, B   Brassica oleracea         1/4”              15-20”                 7 3 - 10             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                       1,750                                 4 - 5 years 
Cabbage, B              Brassica oleracea         1/4”              12-18”                 7 4-5             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                       1,750                                 4 - 5 years 
Carrot, B                  Daucus carota              1/4”              2-3”                 7 3 - 10             Insect                   1.5 - 4.5 km       30                                       5,350                                 3 - 4 years 
Cauliflower, B         Brassica oleracea         1/4”              15-18”                 7 3 - 10             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                       2,850                                 4 - 5 years 
Celeriac, Celery, B  Apium graveolens        1/8”              6-10”                 15 10 - 20             Insect                   800 Meters        10                                       17,850                               4 - 5 years 
Corn, A                   Zea  mays                     1 -2”            18”                 15 4 - 7             Wind                   3 kilometers       200                                      50                                     3 - 4 years 
Cucumber,  A         Cucumis sativus           1/2”              12-36”                 15 3 - 7             Insect                   800 Meters        10                                        350                                   6 - 7 years 
Eggplant, A             Solanum melongena    1/4”              18-24”                 24 5 - 7             Self                      15 Meters          10                                       2,150                                 4 - 5 years 
Kale, B                    Brassica oleracea         1/4”              8-24”                 7 3 - 19             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                       2,675                                 4 - 5 years 
Kohlrabi, B             Brassica oleracea          1/4”              8-10”                 7 3 - 10             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                       2,850                                 4 - 5 years 
Leek, B                   Allium ampeloprasum  1/8” -1/4”     3-6”                 4 6 - 12             Insect                   1 1/2 - 3 Km      10 - 20                                3,500                                1 - 2years 
Lettuce, A               Lactuca sativa              1/8”               6-12”                 4 5 - 10             Self                       7 1/2  Meters     10                                       7,100                                2 - 3 years 
Melon, A                Cucumis melo              1/2”              36-48”                 21 5 - 10             Insect                    800 Meters        10                                         280                                 6 - 7 years 
Mustard, A             Brassica juncea            1/4”              8-10”                 10 3 - 7             Insect                   800 Meters         50                                       3,200                                4 - 5 years 
Onion, B                 Allium cepa                 1/8 - 1/4”       3-5”                 10 6 - 12             Insect                    1.5 - 3 Km         10 - 20                                2,500                                 1- 2 years 
Parsley, B               Petroselinum crispum  1/8 - 1/4”       8-12”                 10 21             Insect                    1.5 kilometer     10                                       4,650                                 4 - 5 years 
Parsnip, B               Pastinaca sativa           1/2”              3-6”                 10 21             Insect                    1.5 kilometer      10 - 20                               2,100                                 1 - 2 years 
Pea, A                     Pisum sativum            1 - 2 ”           1-3”                 4 7 - 21             Self                       15  Meters         25 - 50                                 40 - 45                              3 - 4 years 
Pepper, A                Capsicum spp.            1/4 - 1/2”       15-20”                 18 14             Self                       150 Meters        5 - 10                                   1,250                                 2 - 4 years 
Pumpkin, A            Cucurbita pepo           1/2 - 1”         36-48”                 15 4 - 7             Insect                   800 Meters        10                                         50                                      6 - 7 years 
Radish, A               Raphanus sativas        1/4 - 1/2”      2-3”                 7 5             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                        1,070                                 4 - 5 years 
Rutabaga, B           Brassica napus            1/4”               6-8”                 10 3 - 14             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                        1,425                                 4 - 5 years 
Spinach, A             Spinacia  oleracea        1/4 - 1/2“”     8”                 7 7 - 21             Wind                   3-8 Kilometers   10 - 20                                 890                                   3 - 4 years 
Squash, A               Cucurbita spp.            1 - 2”             36-48”                 21 4 - 7             Insect                   800 Meters        10                                        35 - 50                               6 - 7 years 
Swiss Chard, B      Beta vulgaris               1/2 - 3/4”      12-16”                 10 4 - 10             Wind                   3 - 8 Kilometers 10                                        360                                   5 - 6 years 
Tomato, A     Lycopersicon lycopersicum  1/4”              24-48”                 15 5 - 10             Self                     2 Meters             5 - 10                                   3,570                                4 - 5 years 
Turnp, B                Brassica  rapa              1/4”              4 - 8”                 15 3 - 14             Insect                   800 Meters        50                                        1,785                                4 - 5 years 
Watermelon, A      Citrullus lanatus          1 - 2”            36-48”                 21 5 - 10             Insect                   800 Meters        10                                        175                                   5 - 6 years 

Revised, 2013


Starting Seeds Indoors

Starting Seeds Indoors rustique

In a good sterile potting mix, moisten soil, fill containers (either pots or flats), tap the side to compact the soil slightly.  Make shallow or deep depressions into the soil with your finger, or some implement, depending on the seed being planted (remember seeds should be planted no deeper that twice the diameter of the seed).  Cover the seed with a little soil and firm to insure good contact between soil and seed.   Water carefully, being sure seeds aren’t exposed or washed out of their soil  Keep soil moist but not wet as the seeds start to germinate.

Seeds require warmth, moisture, and light in addition to soil to grow.  Find a warm spot in the house, the top of the refrigerator or a sunny window sill to start your seeds.  Some seeds need  higher temperatures to germinate (peppers, eggplants) and you may need seedling heating mats with thermostatic control if you don’t have somewhere in your house with these warmer conditions.    Once the seedlings have germinated, they need light.  Remember to turn your plants every day or two so the light doesn’t bend the stems too far in one direction.  Lightly water when the soil surface dries with room temperature water.  Florescent lights suspended over the plants in a warm (21°C) location 5-10cm above the growing tips of the plants is the best situation unless you have a greenhouse.

Pot up seedlings when they have their true leaves into pots to allow for root development.  Do not feed, over-water or over-heat these transplants, just ensure they are planted into a balanced organic potting soil and have sufficient access to even light.    Harden off these transplants by bringing them outside during the day and in at night to accustom them to the outdoors for 3 or 4 days prior to planting into the garden.   Don’t harden plants if it’s too windy or cold.

Plant into the garden, in settled weather, into a shovel scoop hole filled with compost.  It is helpful to ensure plants have sufficient micronutrients by watering in with fish fertilizer, liquid kelp, or something from the ocean which contains those necessary minerals and micronutrients which will help to sustain growth.


Compost rustique
Use compost to grow and nourish plants. It contains valuable microbes which convert soil, air and water into nutrients for plants. If you don’t have a compost, you should make one, or just have a compost heap which you turn regularly. If you can’t do a compost, buy from a reputable source; some manures could contain harmful herbicides and residues which will mutate the growth of some plants, particularly tomatoes.

Use leaves, grasses, weeds, crop and flower garden trimmings as well as kitchen parings other than meat scraps (which will attract vermin). Turn every week (the compost, that is) to encourage microbial activity, for a minimum of 90 days to ensure good quality. If you can, use a termperature probe to check temperatures, and turn when temperatures fall. Cover if cold or wet, water when dry.

It should form a ball in your fist, but not be dripping wet. Use it to ‘innoculate’ your planting area and transplant holes.

Bee SAFE Maps

Bee SAFE Maps rustique

RDNO Area 'D' & Lumby


RDNO Area 'E' (Cherryville)