There hasn't been enough study and consultation to declare the regional district a genetically engineered crop-free zone, according to the majority of directors.
Last month, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George shot down a proposal by Chilako River-Nechako area director Lara Beckett to give the area the symbolic title in a seven to five vote.
Genetically engineered crops are those created by the transfer of genetic material from one species into another unrelated species to establish a new trait or quality.
According to Natural Resources Canada, genetically engineered and genetically modified are not the same thing, as genetically modified can mean something was altered through any method, including conventional breeding.
Beckett argued that the district would be taking a precautionary step.
"There have been no studies done on genetically engineered products long-term on either side, where the claims are potential benefits or potential negative impacts," she said. "The risks of introducing something that is not natural into the environment that we can never bring back, I think, is extreme."
But other directors, like Salmon River-Lakes area director Warren Wilson and Prince George Coun. Dave Wilbur didn't feel there was enough to go on - despite Beckett's extensive report.
"I think consultation is prudent and has not yet occurred, at least to my knowledge it hasn't," Wilbur said. "We could look silly by going off and doing the broad brush strokes without appreciating the impact."
Wilson also said there are benefits to genetically engineered or modified crops and other products, such as insulin.
"So it's not all bad. I don't think you're seeing any advantage into declaring this region genetically modified free," said Wilson.
Prince George councillor and regional district director Murry Krause said there was support for similar proposals at the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
During last week's convention in Victoria, local government delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution from the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District asking the province to make B.C. a genetically engineered-free zone with respect to tree fruit.
Included in the resolution was a request to the provincial government to "legislate the prohibition of importing, exporting and the domestic production of fruit and plant material" that contains genetically engineered DNA. This is because a crop free of genetically engineered fruit can be contaminated by those that aren't held to such rigors through contact with traveling pollinating insects.
"I think to have a genetically engineered free crop zone holds a lot of weight in the farming world for our future in food security," said Dallas Bullock, sitting in as an alternate director for Valemount mayor Andru McCracken.
Directors did support a call for staff to return a report investigating the potential for the district to advocate for clear labeling of genetically modified food.
"I think all of our citizenry are interested in knowing what they consume," said Wilbur.