Help the minister get the message: No Hidden GM Seeds!
On Thursday March 9, 2023, call the Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, to ask her to listen to organic farmers, not biotechnology companies: Tell the minister that farmers need a mandatory public registry of all GM seeds sold on the market, including those developed using gene editing technologies.
No hidden genetically modified seeds! Call 613-995-2024 to leave your message for the minister.
Click here to read the full Call to Action from SaskOrganics www.saskorganics.org
Today’s Press Release
Organic farmers mobilizing to call the agriculture minister on Thursday
March 9, 2023 to Stop Hidden GM Seeds
Monday, March 6, 2023 – Regina. The Saskatchewan farmer-led organization SaskOrganics is asking organic farmers and consumers to call the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, on Thursday, March 9, to ask her to ensure transparency of all genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) seeds entering the market, including all those produced through the genetic engineering techniques of gene editing.
“We’re asking Minister Bibeau to protect Canada’s organic farms and food from hidden GM seeds,” said Marla Carlson, SaskOrganics’ Executive Director, “Farmers need transparency and its’ what consumers want.”
SaskOrganics has called for a Day of Action on March 9th with the message “No Hidden GM Seeds” in response to proposals from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that would allow some undisclosed, unknown GM seeds onto the market.
“Organic farmers need a public registry of all genetically modified seeds,” said Garry Johnson, SaskOrganics’ President, “We need transparency and traceability.”
The minister will decide if some GM seeds can enter the market without any government environmental safety assessments and without any notification to farmers. Specifically, the CFIA is proposing to exempt some gene-edited seeds that have no foreign DNA from Part V of the Seeds Regulations. This would mean some GM seeds could enter the market without any government approval process. The CFIA is suggesting companies could voluntarily let the government and farmers know about unapproved gene-edited seeds coming to market.
“A mandatory list of all GM seeds is necessary so organic farmers can continue to farm organically,” said Marla Carlson. “If biotechnology companies can hide GM seeds from farmers by leaving them off a voluntary registry, we won’t be able to protect our fields from genetic modification.”
The Canada Organic Standards prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and that includes products of gene editing. Organic farmers need to know which seeds are GM so they can buy non-GM seed and take measures to avoid contamination from nearby GM crops.
“We have no desire to stop non-organic farmers accessing gene edited seeds but our ability to farm organically is being threatened,” said Garry Johnson. “The minister can protect organic farmers by making sure there is full disclosure of all GM seeds.
SaskOrganics is calling on organic farmers, and all consumers who want an organic choice, to call the Minister’s office in Ottawa at 613-995-2024 on Thursday to tell the minister – ”No hidden genetically modified seeds.”
For more Information:
Marla Carlson, Executive Director
c: 306-535-2710 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
SaskOrganics is the farmer led provincial organization representing and supporting 1025 organic producers, processors and organic sector businesses in Saskatchewan. Our 938 producer members manage over 1.175 million acres, thirty percent (29%) of all organic acreage in Canada. We advocate for a sustainable and thriving organic community through leadership in research, education, market development and communications. www.saskorganics.org
For more information on this issue see www.cban.ca/NoExemptions.