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Apr 28, 2010

Canada - Opposition to Pending Legislation to Restrict GM Crops

On 28 April 2010, Reuters reported on the opposition to a pending Canadian legislative bill aimed at restricting gene-modified (GM) crops. 

Bill C-474 is currently pending in the Canadian House of Commons.  It requires a market-impact study that analyzes the "possible harm to export markets prior to approving any new GM seeds."  The bill was introduced by the New Democratic Party.  The next step is for it to be reviewed and voted upon by an all-party committee. The Conservative government is opposed to the bill and would need support from an opposition party to defeat it in the House of Commons.

Sygenta, the Canola Council of Canada and the Grain Growers of Canada all oppose the bill.  They note that "taking such a stand on [GM] crops would leave Canadian farmers lagging global rivals and jeopardize exports of existing [GM] crops."  In their view, the bill "hurts Canada's trading reputation."

"Canada is the world's top exporter of spring wheat and durum, used in baking and pasta respectively. It is also the No. 1 exporter of canola, a modified version of rapeseed, which is crushed to produce edible oil.  It also has the "second-largest arable land base per capita and large quantities of fresh water," which are both crucial to expanding crop production.

Support for the bill comes from the National Farmers Union.  They point out that Canadian exports of flax dropped when trace amounts of gene-engineered crops were found in shipments to Europe. 

Photo Credit: Canadian House of Commons courtesy of Roy Grogan, Library of Parliament, Canada.

For more see: Nickel, Rod. "Syngenta Canada warns of damage from anti-GMO bill," Reuters, 28 April 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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