Alex Atamanenko is an MP in BC Southern Interior, and an NDP critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food. Below are his words and the bills he has put forward:
Thank you for your letter in which you support my Private Members Bill (PMB), C-474 – An Act respecting seeds regulations (analysis of potential harm). This Bill calls for an amendment to the seeds regulations ‘to require that an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered (GE) seeds are permitted.’
The need for such a law is clear and I am pleased to finally have the opportunity to bring forward a Bill in the House of Commons that will protect farmers from the severe financial consequences that can arise as a result of unwanted GE contamination in their export crops. The type of economic devastations that recently occurred in our flax industry because of GE contamination must not be allowed to happen again, for example to Canada’s wheat and alfalfa farmers.
Given that you have taken part in the action campaign initiated by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) on C-474, I have no doubt you are also concerned about other troubling aspects of the biotech industry. It may interest you to know that because of my own concerns, I have tabled several other PMB’s and Motions on the issue and I have taken the liberty of attaching a list of these at the end of this letter. I would also like to point out that the Government has the ability and power to adopt any of these and bring them forward at any time for debate in the House of Commons.
Thank you for adding your voice to the hundreds of others who have already taken this action to let the Minister of Agriculture know how much they care about protecting Canadian farmers against unwanted GE contamination that can devastate their farm businesses.
In good food solidarity,
Alex Atamanenko, MP
BC Southern Interior
NDP critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food
Private Members Bills
C-353 — Mr. Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) — An Act to prohibit the release, sale, importation and use of seeds incorporating or altered by variety-genetic use restriction technologies (V-GURTs), also called “terminator technologies”, and to make a consequential amendment to another Act
C-370 — Mr. Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) — An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (mandatory labelling for genetically modified foods)
M-362 — April 27, 2009 — Mr. Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) rescind approvals for environmental release and for food and feed safety of genetically modified alfalfa; (b) ban the importation of genetically modified or genetically modified contaminated alfalfa into Canada; and (c) prohibit testing, commercial release or any other introduction of genetically modified alfalfa into Canada.
M-405 — June 16, 2009 — Mr. Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) prohibit the testing, commercial release or any other introduction of genetically modified wheat into Canada; and (b) prohibit the importation of genetically modified or genetically modified contaminated wheat into Canada.
M-461 — November 2, 2009 — Mr. Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) — That in the opinion of the House, the government should take the following actions in order to avert another crisis similar to the one faced by flax farmers: (a) review the current regulatory process to include consideration of market harm in the approval of unconfined release and confined release of plants with novel traits (genetically engineered plants); (b) desist from any future approvals, and re-evaluate any current approvals, for confined release of genetically engineered alfalfa; (c) re-evaluate the government’s existing approval for unconfined release of genetically engineered alfalfa; and (d) report back to Parliament, through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the results of the government’s review of the regulatory process within twelve calendar months or at the earliest opportunity following the twelve months if Parliament is not in session.