Widespread Opposition to Minister’s Decision to Allow Corporate Self-Regulation of Gene Editing

CSNN National Page > Widespread Opposition to Minister’s Decision to Allow Corporate Self-Regulation of Gene Editing

On May 3, the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced her decision to allow many new gene edited seeds onto the market without any government environmental safety assessments and without any notification from companies. If you missed it, click here to read CBAN’s e-news update and reaction.

Si vous l’avez manqué, cliquez ici pour lire la mise à jour et la réaction du CBAN.

Click here to email your Member of Parliament from CBAN’s website.
Envoyez votre lettre à votre député.e. à partir du site web de RCAB.

New! The National Farmers Union asks you to send a protest letter today. Click here.
Nouveau ! L’Union nationale des fermiers vous demande d’agir : Cliquez ici.

Quebec Day of Action May 26

Protests this week in Quebec! The Quebec network Vigilance OGM (GMO Watch) is calling for actions in six cities in Quebec on Friday, May 26, outside MP offices. Click here to find out more and register join.

Journée d’action : Vendredi 26 mai à Sherbrooke et dans d’autres villes du Québec. On a besoin de vous pour faire une petite activité devant les bureaux de vos député.e.s respectifs.

Farmers Denounce Lack of Transparency

Farmers across Canada have denounced the minister’s decision to allow gene edited seeds on the market without requiring any notice from companies.

Organic grain farmer and President of the Canadian Organic Growers, Alison Squires, was interviewed on CTV. “All we’re asking for is a way to identify the seed in the market. We’re not necessarily opposing the introduction of (gene-edited) seed — although that is my personal choice as an organic farmer — but we’re actually asking the government just to provide us with a mandatory traceability system so that we could be assured that seed entry in the market is accounted for.

The Canadian Organic Standards prohibit the use of genetic engineering including gene editing. The farmers group Organic BC put out their press release “Canada Announces Voluntary Disclosure of Gene-Edited Seeds, Putting Organic Sector at Risk” saying: “This new voluntary system is privately managed and jeopardizes the future of organic certification in Canada.

The Manitoba Cooperator reported CBAN’s response in their article that describes the decision as setting “gene-edited seeds on the same regulatory level as conventionally-bred seed varieties” and reports that Canadian farmers say “the decision will leave the organic sector dependent on seed and biotech firms’ willingness to disclose their handiwork.”

The National Farmers Union says: “The proposed seed industry-controlled database of for voluntary transparency is unacceptable. There is no way for anyone, whether farmer or government personnel, to know whether companies are providing complete information, and no consequences for the companies if they do not. Farmers will be the ones to pay the cost of unknowingly planting gene edited seed that is not accepted in a sensitive market. Canada’s reputation as an exporting country will be damaged if customers cannot trust that we are providing full disclosure on the products we sell.”

The National Farmers Union asks you to take action: Tell Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Bibeau you want this decision reversed, and that we need mandatory, independent safety assessments and mandatory reporting to government for all genetically engineered seeds and crops. Click here to send your letter.

L’Union nationale des fermiers vous demande d’agir : Dites au ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Agroalimentaire Bibeau que vous voulez que cette décision soit annulée et que nous avons besoin d’évaluations de sécurité obligatoires et indépendantes et de rapports obligatoires au gouvernement pour toutes les semences et cultures génétiquement modifiées. Cliquez ici pour envoyer votre lettre.