Liberals committed to evidence-based policies
In mid-September, one of our volunteers emailed a pair of questions to candidates in all 42 BC electoral districts. These are the two questions that were asked of each candidate include:
- If elected, will you give Health Canada the resources and the mandate to conduct a comprehensive, independent, science-based assessment on the safety of genetically engineered foods?
- What will you do to increase public awareness in your district of genetically engineered food and toxic pesticides, including neonicotinoids?
Previously we posted the responses and positions of the Conservatives, Greens and NDP. In today’s final blog, we bring you the positions of your Liberal Party of Canada candidates running in BC.
Dr. Hedy Fry, Liberal Party candidate in Vancouver Centre framed the problem and solution this way: “At the heart of this matter is the consumers’ right to know just what it is they are consuming. The government’s failure to recognize this right is, in my opinion, a major driving factor in the public’s distrust in GMOs. I believe that information provided to Canadians should be accurate, understandable, informative – not false or misleading – and verifiable. … I fully support the mandatory labeling of GE/GMO foods, a position I have held since my time as a physician and Chair of the BC Medical Association Council on Health Promotion.”
Next door in Vancouver Granville, Liberal Party candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould stated that “A Liberal government will ensure that Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have the resources they need to ensure Canadians’ food is safe. All decisions we make, particularly those that affect the safety of Canadians, will be based on science and facts. We will ensure the federal government rebuilds its capacity to deliver on evidence-based decision-making. I will work with the Liberal party and the federal government to ensure that we study all the evidence on mandatory labelling and implement the policies that evidence demands.”
On the topic of pesticides, Jessie Adcock, Liberal Party candidate in Port Moody-Coquitlam stated that “A Liberal government will continue to stringently regulate pesticides to ensure they pose minimal risk to human health and the environment… Furthermore, we will continue to work with other governments to align the processes used to regulate pest control products and ensure the protection of Canadians’ health and our environment.”
Brad Layton, Liberal Party candidate in Skeena-Bulkley Valley was the first to send the following compilation of Liberal Party positions on the subject of GMOs:
“Access to sufficient, safe, healthy, adequate food is a fundamental human right. A Liberal government will always prioritize protecting the health and safety of Canadians. We will work consultatively with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal organizations, community groups, and producers to ensure that Canadians have access to healthy, affordable food. The CFIA must be able to depend on adequate funding by our government to sustain its programs to safeguard the health of Canadians. A Liberal government will ensure that the food you buy in the grocery store is safe.
Liberals stand for strong, evidence-based scrutiny of our food supply chain and fully agree that the government must always act to protect consumers and farmers when making these decisions. The federal government—the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in conjunction with Health Canada— is responsible for keeping Canadians safe by monitoring and reviewing our food products, as well as the policies and science that support our food safety system. Unfortunately, these departments have suffered multiple cuts under the Harper Conservatives, which undermine the government’s ability to safeguard our food supply. Of particular concern are reductions in the number of frontline food safety workers—including researchers and scientists who are tasked with evaluating food products.
We have also heard the concerns of farmers and concerned citizens about GMOs, and the effects of cross-contamination on the survival of non-GMO and organic crops must be addressed in a manner that effectively balances the needs of farmers, trading partners and consumers. Biotechnological innovation has been, and will continue to be, crucial to agricultural competitiveness and productivity. However, the growing prevalence of GMOs should not come at the expense of the viability of non-GMO and organic strains of crops. A Liberal government would place a moratorium on the approval of Roundup Ready Alfalfa until a comprehensive study is completed on its impact on non-GMO and organic strains.
The strengthening of our export markets is absolutely critical for the health of the Canadian agricultural sector, which is why we must balance innovation with the best interests of our farmers and consumers.
A Liberal government will ensure the federal government rebuilds its capacity to deliver on evidence-based decision-making. We will study all the evidence on mandatory labelling and implement the policies that the data demands.”
We at GE Free BC hope that these past 4 blogs outlining the four national party’s response to our questions about GMO’s in Canada have been helpful to any of you who expect the federal government to play a strong role in food security, health protection, and a sustainable food system.
Echoing Food Secure Canada’s slogan, we encourage you to “Eat. Think. Vote.”