Controversy Grows Over Brier Corporate Sponsor Monsanto

If anyone would like to “correct” the Canadian Curling
Association, you can write  to Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Curling Association 613-834-2076, ext 117 1660 Vimont Court Cumberland, Ontario K4A 4J4

(Please, please email this man)

Halifax, Thursday, March 11, 2010 “The corporate sponsor of this
week’s Brier, biotechnology company Monsanto, is under intense
scrutiny from environmental, consumer and farmer groups in Nova
Scotia, and across Canada and the world.

“Many curling fans might be shocked to learn that the Brier sponsor
Monsanto is at the centre of farmer and consumer battles over
genetically engineered seeds and increasing corporate control in
farming,” said Marla MacLeod of Ecology Action Centre, a Nova Scotia-
wide environmental group. “We are saddened that the great Brier
championship is now associated with this relentlessly controversial
company,” said MacLeod.

Earlier this year the Curling Association of Canada signed a multi-
year sponsorship agreement with Monsanto that includes championships
through to 2013. Monsanto has sponsored the Brier since 2006. This
week’s Brier runs until Sunday March 14 in Halifax.

Monsanto is the largest seed company in the world and owns
approximately 86% of all the genetically engineered (GE) seeds sown
across the globe.  GE corn, canola, soy and sugar beet (white) are
grown in Canada and Monsanto dominates the market in all four crops.

“Curling is being used to soften the image of a company that takes
farmers in Canada to court for alleged patent infringement, for saving
seeds,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology
Action Network (CBAN). Monsanto now puts farmers that it sues onto an
“Unauthorized Grower List” which prohibits them from buying Monsanto
products in the future. “The Curling Association should not be
providing a platform for Monsanto’s corporate public relations,” said

Monsanto’s GE seeds are causing havoc for many farmers in Canada.
Saskatchewan organic grain farmers tried to establish a class action
lawsuit to seek compensation from Monsanto and another corporation for
loss of organic canola due to GE contamination. A Private Members Bill –
Bill C-474 – will be debated in the House of Commons on Wednesday
March 17, to address the issue of export market harm caused by GE seeds.

Groups across the country are engaged in various struggles to stop
Monsanto’s GE seeds from harming farmers’ livelihoods and the
environment. Just last week, farm groups and consumers from across
Canada wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to try to stop the
lifting of an injunction on planting Monsanto’s GE alfalfa. “The
release of Monsanto’s GE alfalfa would be an immediate threat to
organic food and farming in Canada,” said Cammie Harbottle, Youth Vice
President of the National Farmers Union and a farmer in Nova Scotia.

“We don’t want the great sport of curling marred by association with
the harm that can be caused by genetically engineered seeds,” said

For more information: Marla MacLeod, Ecology Action Centre, 902 442
1077; Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241
2267 ext.6 or cell 613 263 9511; Cammie Harbottle, National Farmers
Union, 306 652 9465. For background on Monsanto:

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

Support Bill C-474, Support Canada’s Farmers!

Write to your MP instantly from
Take action before March 17, 2010.

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