Daily Archives: March 19, 2010

Bill C-474 Results and Action Updates

Bill C-474 Results and Action Updates: Your action made a difference! – Lucy Sharratt – CBAN Coordinator

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who wrote letters to your  MPs! Bill C-474 lives another day, thanks to you!

Your actions made sure this Bill was not defeated yesterday, instead
it will to be debated one more time before you MP votes! This vote
could take place in April, or sooner.

What happened and what does it mean?

Last night, MPs debated Bill C-474 for one hour. Support for the Bill
was not strong enough to fast-track the Bill to debate in the
Agriculture Committee but the debate in the House of Commons will
continue – this is because the Liberal Party essentially spoke in
opposition to the Bill but left the door open to more debate. There
will be another hour of debate in April (or sooner) followed by a vote
on the Bill. If MPs vote for the Bill it will go to the Agriculture
Committee for study and amendments. If MPs vote against the Bill, the
Bill dies.  You can see CBAN’s unofficial notes from the debate at http://www.cban.ca/Take-Action/Act-Now/Bill-C-474-Debate-and-Results-Blog
You will see that the Liberal Party based their position on
incorrect information about GE flax and how the contamination crisis
happened. (We will send more info soon)

Why is Bill C-474 still in “second reading”?:  The Liberal Party is
not ready to commit enough support to Bill C-474. (Your action over
the next weeks could convince them.)
The Conservative Party is opposed to Bill C-474 – Conservative MP
David Anderson (Saskatchewan) called the Bill “anti-farmer” – he is
Assistant Agriculture Critic and is Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board.

You are encouraged to write your MP a second time to tell them you
were following the debate – CBAN will provide more information soon.

Your actions will continue to make a difference.  Here are the great
actions you have taken so far! :
2193 letters were sent to MPs through the CBAN website!
620 signatures were delivered to the constituency office of Michael
Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition, in Toronto.
154 signatures on petitions were presented to the office of Larry
Miller Conservative MP and Chair of the Agriculture Committee – Larry
Miller spoke against the Bill but took a more reasoned approach than
MP David Anderson who said that the Bill was “anti-farmer”
90 signatures were sent to Hon. John Duncan, Conservative MP Vancouver
Island North.
92 signatures were presented to Conservative Ontario MP Pierre
Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton), Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime
Minister
150 signatures went to the constituency office of Russ Hiebert,
Conservative MP in BC (South Surrey-White Rock).
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Guelph’s “Enviropig” Satisfies Requirements of EPA

Angela Mulholland, CTV.ca News Date: Saturday Mar. 6, 2010 11:01 AM ET

The Enviropig, a Canadian-designed, genetically-engineered hog, recently edged a little closer to full regulatory approval. But how likely is the pig to ever make it to the dinner tables of Canadians?

Enviropigs are a line of line Yorkshire pigs genetically enhanced to be more environmentally friendly. The porkers, created by researchers at the University of Guelph, have a modified gene that gives them the ability to digest phosphorus in grain more efficiently.

The result? They poop up to 60 per cent less phosphorus into their manure.

That’s a good thing, since the phosphorus in the manure of factory farm animals is known to promote algae growth in water, leading to fish kills and other water problems.

Enviropigs have been under development for well over 10 years, with the aim that they could be one day be sold to commercial hog farmers.

But so far, while the researchers have enjoyed the support of Ontario Pork, a full commercial partner has yet to sign on. And much of the reason for that is the complicated regulatory hurdles of getting the pigs and their meat approved for eating.

One of those hurdles was finally crossed last month, when the University of Guelph announced that it had satisfied the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, allowing the Enviropig to be produced under strict confinement and control measures.

What that means is that the federal government has determined that the pigs are not toxic to the environment. They are also convinced that the pigs do not pose any other threats to the environment — such as what might happen if the pigs escaped their quarters at the university and integrated themselves into other pig populations. (April here: so what happened to studies on human health? Why do they always miss that?)

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