Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government shuts down debate on Biotech harm to farmers

April: We are at a point where we need every human in Canada (and abroad) to let the Conservative (and Liberal) government know we are tired of being pushed out of decisions that affect us! Please take action today: we are running out of time and please, spread this message to all you know. This is a classic form of force over people: is this the world you want?

You can take action –

For Immediate Release

Conservatives Shut Down Debate on Biotech Harm to Farmers

Parliamentary hearings canceled to protect biotechnology corporations

October 28, 2010, Ottawa – Today, House of Commons Agriculture
Committee hearings on Private Members Bill C-474 – dealing with the
issue of genetic engineering – were canceled and invited witnesses
were turned away because, last night, Conservative Members of
Parliament voted down a motion to extend debate on the Bill. The
motion to extend the debate by 30 days was defeated by just 4 votes.

Bill C-474 would support farmers by requiring that “an analysis of
potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any
new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”

“The Conservatives ended the debate in order to protect the biotech
industry from any more scrutiny,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. “This Bill spurred the first real debate in Parliament over the negative impacts of genetically engineered crops and that’s why Conservatives shut it down.”

“The vote to extend the hearings should have been an uncontroversial
procedural matter but the Conservatives made a calculated political
move to save biotech corporations like Monsanto from the spotlight,”
said Sharratt. “The debate was exposing the reality that some
genetically engineered crops can cause serious economic harm to
farmers and the Canadian economy, and our government currently has no
legislative way to stop economically harmful GE crops.” Farmers are at
risk when GE crops are commercialized in Canada without also being
first approved in our major export markets.

This morning’s Agriculture Committee hearings were cancelled and
National Farmers Union President Terry Boehm, who was invited by the
Committee to testify, was turned away. Boehm traveled from
Saskatchewan and planned to speak in favour of the Bill. Many more
witnesses, including other farm leaders, will now not have a chance to
present to the Committee. The Committee has already heard strong
testimony in support of Bill C-474 from organizations representing
conventional alfalfa growers. The growers are predicting that
Monsanto’s GE alfalfa will harm their markets. “The debate was making
it increasingly harder to justify a position against the Bill,” said

The final vote on the Bill could be called within weeks. The Bill was
introduced by Alex Atamanenko, the NDP Agriculture Critic and MP for
British Columbia Southern Interior.

For more information: Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian
Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241 2267 ext 6; cell: 613 263 9511

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

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2 responses to “Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government shuts down debate on Biotech harm to farmers

  1. Here is some recent news about Canadian research funding that may be of interest to your cause.

  2. Pingback: Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government shuts down debate on Biotech harm to farmers | 4frespeech

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