Let your MP know that on June 7th, alfalfa farmers told the House of Commons Agriculture Committee that they support the Bill C-474:
“Bill C-474 is the first step in offering some protection in the future for Canadian family farms. Market acceptance must be made part of the evaluation process and incorporated into the Seeds Regulation Act.” - Kelvin Einarson, Director and Secretary Treasurer, Manitoba Forage Seed Association Inc.
This summer you can take action in your community to support Bill C-474 and alfalfa farmers. MPs need to hear from you this Summer and then again in the Fall, before the final vote on Bill C-474. For information and action options check http://www.cban.ca/474
More excerpts from June 7th testimony:
“Forage producers support Bill C-474 because we believe it would have the ability to protect the alfalfa industry from the truly dangerous effects of introducing GMO varieties that are not approved by our customers.” - Jim Lintott, Chairman, Manitoba Forage Council.
“The bill is perfect the way it stands. It's a perfect requirement. Why would you produce anything with no market for it?” - Jim Lintott, Chairman, Manitoba Forage Council.
“…the point is that we have a situation where we have a large corporate entity that does not care about the farmer's ability to market that product. They are moving that product, specifically the Roundup Ready alfalfa, and pushing that thing through regardless of market resistance from the producer and the consumer end.” - Jim Lintott, Chairman, Manitoba Forage Council.
“In closing, it has been said that Bill C-474 will create another layer of “red tape” for seed companies to go through in order to sell seeds in Canada. I feel this is better than creating “red ink” on the producer's bottom line.” - Kurt Shmon, President, Imperial Seed Ltd.
Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice 431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5 Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6 Fax: 613 241 2506 email@example.com www.cban.ca
Montreal Urgent Action: Friday June 4 Solidarity with Haiti’s Farmers
Union Payasanne, Action SOS Haiti, and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network call on people in Montreal to gather outside the Haitian Consulate to express solidarity with Haitian peasant groups who are rejecting Monsanto’s donation of hybrid corn seeds. Haitian peasant farmers will march Friday June 4 in Haiti and are asking groups around the world to “Struggle Against Monsanto and its associates.”
DATE: Friday, June 4, 2010 TIME: 10:00 AM LOCATION: 1100, Boul. René Lévesque Ouest (corner of René Lévesque and Peel – Station Bonaventure)
This is a symbolic action in solidarity. A delegation will deliver a letter to the Haitian consulate in support of the farmers’ concerns.
Solidarity actions were called for by the Haitian Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) and supported by La Via Campesina. Please see below. (You can also check www.cban.ca/Monsanto and www.viacampesina.org)
The current political framework and the processes of economic integration carried out by governments and transnational capital together make it necessary for us to unify our vision and strengthen our action strategies against this new imperialist attack.
The earthquake which occurred in Haiti on the 12th January killed 300 000 people, injured 500 000 others and left thousands of people homeless…35 seconds made 3 million disaster victims. Haiti’s vulnerability in the face of natural catastrophes has many causes underlying which are the actions of the colonial and neo-colonial powers, principally Spain, France, United States, as well as the policies of the International Financial Institutions and of transnational corporations and the national groups holding political and economical power.
With their deadly gift to the Ministry of Agriculture of 475 tonnes of hybrid seeds, Monsanto and its accomplices are worsening the situation of the Haitian peasantry. This is a new earthquake; together with our national and international friends and the Via Campesina we must struggle against it. That is why, we, Haitian organizations members of the Via Campesina, are calling for a large-scale demonstration and march on June 4th 2010 at the Papay Peasant Movement “Lakay” training centre in Papaye. The primary goal of this mobilization is to “Struggle against Monsanto and its Accomplices in Haiti “. We will begin the demonstration by sowing native varieties of corn and planting trees in order to celebrate World Environment Day and to show once more our commitment to protect Haiti and the whole planet. After that, we will march, accompanied by the rhythm of drums, to Charlemagne Peralte de Hinche to burn Monsant’s seeds.
We are calling on all peasant organizations and national and international social movements to show their solidarity by participating, directly or indirectly, in this large-scale march against Monsanto. People who are not able to be present in Haiti can organize a solidarity action wherever they are. Those who are able to do so can interview the leaders of la Via Campesina in Haiti by telephone while the march is taking place:
Chavannes Jean Baptiste Mouvement Paysans de Papaye et membre du CCI : 509-34 55 15 86 Filfrant St. Nare Mouvement Paysans de Papaye (MPP): 509 34 46-23 82 Festil Pierre Doudou, Mouvman Peyizan National Kongrè Papay (MPNKP): 509 34 57 37 09 Rose Edith Raymonville, Mouvman Peyizan National Kongrè Papay (MPNKP: 509 3669-74 24 Rosenel Jean Baptiste, Tet Kole Ti peyizan Ayisyen (TK): 509 37 7 1 86 32 Iderle Brenus , Appuie Technique de la Via Campesina de la Caraibe : 509 3427- 5622
Health Canada could soon approve the first genetically modified (GM) animal for human consumption. The University of Guelph has applied for food safety approval of its GM pig - they call it “Enviropig™”.
The GM pig contains genetic material from a mouse and E-coli bacteria, and is engineered to excrete less phosphorus in its feces. Its owners claim that “Enviropig™” can reduce water pollution caused by excess pig manure that comes from industrial factory farms. A GM pig is not needed to solve this problem. Pigs can be raised without causing phosphorus pollution - by making changes to production practices or using an enzyme feed supplement that helps pigs digest grains.
“Enviropig™” is not needed by farmers and is not wanted by consumers. “Enviropig™” is unacceptable and will harm the markets for Canada’s hog producers at a time of severe economic crisis in the industry.
Health Canada is wasting precious public resources trying to assess the safety of a GM animal that no one wants. Health Canada does not have the capacity to regulate this complex technology for human safety.
Write to the Minister of Health today from http://www.cban.ca/enviropigaction and tell her that GM animals are not acceptable in our food system. Tell her that you don’t want to eat “Enviropig™”
Urgent Action Alert – Support GM Food Labeling - Take action before May 5, 2010.
Tell the Minister of Health that Canada must support the right of countries to label genetically modified (GM) foods. Send a letter instantly from http://www.cban.ca/labelingaction
Canada could work to shut down negotiations on GM labeling at the UN Codex meeting next week in Quebec City.
May 3-7, governments will negotiate food labeling standards at the UN Codex meeting, including recommendations on GM labeling. The US is trying to stop the negotiations from continuing, and Canada may also try to end the negotiations.
Developing countries want support from Codex for their right to label GM foods. The US and Canada want to make sure this doesn’t happen because Codex recommendations on GM labeling could protect developing countries from challenges brought through the World Trade Organization.
Canada and the US also argue that GM foods are not any different from foods created through conventional methods. This is not supported by science, including Codex’s own food safety guidelines!
Despite polls that show over 80% of Canadians want mandatory labeling of GM foods, the Canadian government continues to bow to intense pressure from the biotech industry and refuses to label GM foods.
Subject: [cban e-News] Release: MPs listen to Canadians ahead of industry onGM CropsDate: 4/15/2010 10:44:50 AM
MPs listen to Canadians ahead of industry on GM Crops
Groups applaud MPs for moving Bill C-474 to Committee for study
For Immediate Release
Ottawa. Thursday, April 15, 2010 – Last night, Parliament passed Private Members Bill C-474 through second reading, in spite of intense pressure from the biotech industry. The Bill, which would require analysis of potential harm to export markets before the sale of new genetically modified (GM) seeds, will now be studied by the House of Commons Agriculture Committee.
“Finally MPs are taking steps to protect farmers from the economic chaos that GM crops can cause,” said Terry Boehm, President of the National Farmers Union, “GM contamination has already seriously damaged major export markets for Canadian flax farmers and would threaten the markets for our alfalfa and wheat growers.”
The NDP and Bloc Quebecois supports the Bill and last night Liberal Party MPs voted to allow the Bill to go to this next stage. The Conservative Party strongly opposes the Bill, though two B.C. Conservative MPs voted in favour. The Bill was introduced by Alex Atamanenko, NDP Agriculture Critic and MP for B.C. Southern Interior.
“Last night, the majority of MPs listened to Canadians instead of the biotech industry,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, “MPs will now have the opportunity to study and debate this Bill. We are witnessing the first substantive debate in Parliament over the negative impacts of GM crops.”
The biotech industry lobbied vigorously to stop the upcoming debate at Committee. Yet the strength of public and farmer concern over GM crops was apparent to MPs. Over 9000 thousand letters were sent from constituents in the past month asking MPs to support the Bill. At least 6 MPs were also presented with petitions.
Bill C-474 was supported by the National Farmers Union, which urged Parliamentarians and all Canadians, to support the Bill. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture took a cautious stance in favour of moving the Bill forward, to encourage debate at Committee.
“The current GM flax contamination crisis shows the value of this Bill. And the threat of GM alfalfa has made the Bill an urgent necessity,” said Sharratt. Canadian flax export markets closed in October 2009 when GM contamination was detected.
“We will not stand by and watch farmers struggle alone against the corporate juggernaut of biotechnology,” said Sharratt, “The time when Canadians are expected to accept GM crops without question, is over.”
For more information: Terry Boehm, National Farmers Union, 306 255 2880; Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241 2267 ext.6.
Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Your actions gave the Bill another chance! Private Members Bill C-474 will be debated for a second hour in Parliament March 29. The vote will happen a few days later. Even if you have already written your MP, you are encouraged to send another letter before March 29 http://www.cban.ca/474action
Your concrete action could stop genetically engineered (GE) seeds from causing chaos in Canadian farming!
Bill C-474 would require that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.” The Bill could stop GE alfalfa and GE wheat.
This Bill is critically important because, as we know from experience, the introduction of new genetically engineered (GE) crops can cause economic hardship to farmers. Farmers are at risk when GE crops are commercialized in Canada without also being approved in our major export markets.
Flax farmers in Canada are now paying a heavy price because of this exact problem. Late last year, Canadian flax exports were discovered contaminated with a GE flax that is not approved in Europe or in any of our other export markets (except the U.S.). Flax farmers actually foresaw that GE contamination or even the threat of contamination would close their export markets. That's why they took steps in 2001 to remove GE flax from the market. Despite this measure, flax farmers were not protected. The GE flax contamination closed our export markets in 2009. It has created market uncertainty and depressed prices. Farmers are also paying for testing and cleanup and may be required to abandon their own farm-saved flax seed and buy certified seed instead. These costs are an unnecessary and preventable burden.
We cannot allow GE seeds to harm our export markets. Please support Bill C-474 and protect Canada’s farmers.
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