February 14, 2011
Despite the fact that 233 consumer and
farmer groups in 26 countries have joined the "Definitive Global
Rejection of GM Wheat", Canadian MPs voted Wednesday evening to
reject stronger export rules for crops of genetically modified
Legislators crossed party lines and cast 178 votes in favor of
quashing the bill; 98 MPs were in favor of more stringent export
regulations for GMO crops.
With the Parliament’s decision, exports of genetically modified
crops by Canadian farmers would continue to be approved based on
safety for human consumption and environmental release.
The 233 groups signed the rejection statement first launched by 15
Australian, Canadian and U.S. farmer and consumer groups in June
"Canadian farmers have just lost
their export sales to Europe and other markets because of GM
flax contamination from a GM variety deregistered a decade ago
and never even sold. Our current experience with GM flax
contamination clearly illustrates the crippling losses Canadian
farmers will suffer if GM wheat is introduced," said Terry
Boehm, a flax and wheat farmer and President of the National
Farmers Union in Canada.
"Flax is yet another warning that
once a GM crop is introduced, contamination is inevitable."
The MPs voted to exclude as criteria
potential harm to export markets and economic harm to farmers if
buyers are not in favor of genetically engineered harvest.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz hailed the defeat of the bill
because GMOs provides an innovative technology that allows Canadian
farmers to be competitive in the world market.
While there has been lesser resistance to GMO crops, the National
Farmers Union - which is against GMO foods - pointed out that
Canadian farmers’ largest market potential is in Europe, which is
basically in opposition to the importation and consumption of
genetically engineered foods.
Because Canada’s labeling law do not require disclosure of
genetically modified content, Canadian consumers in fact have been
using and eating genetically modified food for about 10 years,
mostly corn, soya and canola.
Canadian announced last year that its government was poised to
genetically modified (GM) pigs for the food