Alert! Correct the Minister on Terminator!
By Lucy Sharratt, CBAN
Nov 18 2009
Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz: Incorrect and alarming statements about Terminator in Canada
Our Minister of Agriculture has made incorrect statements on Terminator technology to Chinese officials – he stated that Canadian canola is Terminator! But this is absolutely wrong as Terminator has never been field tested or commercialized anywhere in the world.
On November 5th, the Manitoba Cooperator reported that the Minister said he told Chinese officials that they need not fear Chinese farmers growing Canadian canola because the seeds will not grow: “I assured
them that with the varieties we have now, it’s not going to work because they all have Terminator seeds in them…”
Apparently Canada’s Minister of Agriculture does not know what Terminator technology is, does not know that there is an international moratorium on Terminator, and has not paid attention to the thousands of letters and postcards opposing Terminator sent by Canadians over the past 4 years.
The Minister’s statement leads us to ask: Why is the Minister not correctly informed about this highly controversial GM technology? What is the Government’s true position on Terminator? Would the
Conservative Government support the use of Terminator seeds if the technology was available?
We need to demand that the Minister correct his statements to Chinese officials and state the Government’s opposition to Terminator.
Please write to Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to ask him to state the Government’s opposition to Terminator. Ask the Government to continue supporting the International Moratorium and to establish a ban on Terminator in Canada.
You can also send an instant email to the Prime Minister from www.cban.ca/terminatoraction
You can also support the campaign to Ban Terminator in Canada by sending your tax-deductible donation to CBAN from www.cban.ca/donate
For details please read below and refer to www.cban.ca/terminator
The Minister made statements to Chinese officials regarding Terminator technology seeds genetically engineered to be sterile after first planting – that lead to serious questions about the reliability of the
Minister’s information as well as the Government’s position on Terminator.
Terminator technology is technically called Genetic Use Restriction Technology or GURTS and is often referred to as ‘suicide seeds’. By switching off the fertility of seeds, it is designed to stop farmers from saving and replanting seeds, with the aim of fostering farmer dependence on the seed market. Terminator is extremely dangerous and is globally highly controversial.
On November 5th, the Manitoba Cooperator reported that the Minister said he told Chinese officials that they need not fear Chinese farmers growing Canadian canola because the seeds will not grow: ?I assured them that with the varieties we have now, it?s not going to work because they all have Terminator seeds in them…? (“Other motives speculated for move to block imports due to blackleg, Minister Says Canadian Canola Doesn?t Sprout”, Thursday, November 05, 2009, Allan Dawson, Manitoba Co-operator)
This statement is factually incorrect as Terminator has not been commercialized, or field-tested, in any country. More importantly, there is an international moratorium on Terminator at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity ? a moratorium that was established in 2000 and strengthened in 2006.
Minister Ritz is misrepresenting Canadian agriculture and raising alarm on the world stage. The Minister is also adding to international suspicion of Canadian GM regulation and Canadian exports at a time of market crisis for farmers that is directly related to GM crops:
– Europe has closed its doors to Canadian flax due to contamination with GM flax. http://www.cban.ca/flax
– Canada rubber-stamped approval for the eight-trait GM corn SmartStax in a way that is not consistent with European regulations. www.cban.ca/corn
– Monsanto withdrew its submission for approval in Europe of the high lysine GM corn LY038 approved in Canada, because European authorities requested additional food safety data.
For more information: www.cban.ca/terminator
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
Join the Global Rejection of GE Wheat! www.cban.ca/GEwheat
Donate today to support the campaign www.cban.ca/donate
Video of Colleen Ross at the ‘Terminator On Trial’ event.