CBAN launches key new study – 20 years of GMOs

Press Release

CBAN Launches “GMO Inquiry 2015”
20 Years of unanswered questions on genetic modification in Canada

January 27, 2015. Ottawa. The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) has launched a major public investigation to dig behind 20 years of uncertainty around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food and farming in Canada. The project will be called GMO Inquiry 2015.

“We’re stepping up with our own inquiry because our government doesn’t track the impacts of GM crops and foods in Canada,” said CBAN Coordinator Lucy Sharratt. “Our government doesn’t even tell us where GMOs are on our grocery store shelves. After 20 years of secrecy and confusion, Canadians deserve some real information about the impacts and risks.”

In 1995, the Canadian government approved the first genetically modified (GM, also called genetically engineered or GE) crops and foods: 8 herbicide-tolerant canola varieties as well as the first GM soybean (also herbicide-tolerant), two types of GM delayed-ripening tomatoes (both withdrawn from the market by the companies), and the first varieties of Monsanto’s GM insect-resistant potatoes (also later withdrawn from the market by the company).

“Our government introduced genetically modified crops without a public debate or any GM food labelling for consumer choice,” said Taarini Chopra, also of CBAN. “It’s time we get to the truth about how GM technology is changing food and farming in Canada. Critical questions about the impacts of GMOs on our health, our environment, and our economy, remain unanswered.”

CBAN will publish new research throughout the year, examining the major questions of environmental, economic and health impacts of GMOs in Canada.

In 2015, CBAN will investigate:
1.     Where GM foods and crops are found across the world, and how much is grown in Canada;
2.     The impacts of GM crops on the environment;
3.     The issues raised by GM foods for consumers, including safety;
4.     The impacts of GM crops on farmers;
5.     The state of GMO regulation in Canada;
6.     Whether or not we need GM crops to feed the world.

CBAN invites Canadians to send in their questions to help shape the inquiry at

CBAN says their inquiry is urgent because the government has already approved GM 2,4-D- and dicamba-tolerant crops and could soon approve unprecedented GM foods, including the first-ever GM apple and the first GM food animal in the world (a GM salmon).


More information: Lucy Sharratt, CBAN, cell 613 809 1103; Taarini Chopra, CBAN, cell 226 606 8240.

The GMO Inquiry 2015 ( is a project of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) CBAN is a campaign coalition of 17 organizations that researches, monitors and raises awareness about issues relating to genetic engineering in food and farming. CBAN members include farmer associations, environmental and social justice organizations, and regional coalitions of grassroots groups. CBAN is a project of Tides Canada Initiatives.


4 responses to “CBAN launches key new study – 20 years of GMOs

  1. Importance of soil microbes:

    “Just as we have unwittingly destroyed vital microbes in the human gut through overuse of antibiotics and highly processed foods, we have recklessly devastated soil microbiota essential to plant health through overuse of certain chemical fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, failure to add sufficient organic matter (upon which they feed), and heavy tillage. These soil microorganisms — particularly bacteria and fungi — cycle nutrients and water to plants, to our crops, the source of our food, and ultimately our health. Soil bacteria and fungi serve as the “stomachs” of plants. They form symbiotic relationships with plant roots and “digest” nutrients, providing nitrogen, phosphorus, and many other nutrients in a form that plant cells can assimilate. Reintroducing the right bacteria and fungi to facilitate the dark fermentation process in depleted and sterile soils is analogous to eating yogurt (or taking those targeted probiotic “drugs of the future”) to restore the right microbiota deep in your digestive tract.”

  2. News Release – Plans underway to grow B.C. organic sector
    VICTORIA – The Ministry of Agriculture is consulting with the organic sector about developing a three pillar approach to strengthen the awareness and reputation of B.C.’s organic foods, locally, across Canada, and around the world.

    The consultations involve regulating the use of the term “organic”, developing transitional strategies that support farmers to become certified, creating business strategy and market development programs, and creating a brand to market B.C. organic foods.

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