Tag Archives: Alex Atamanenko

CBAN Tour Details for BC

Events Tour Notice – Public Forums in British Columbia: “Genetic Modification and the Future of Food”

September 18 – October 1, 2011. Kelowna, Nelson, Grand Forks, Keremeos, Princeton, Langley, Vancouver, Bella Coola, Richmond, Comox, Campbell River! See below for details.

Featuring Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, Ottawa

Genetically modified (GM) crops and foods are a threat to the environment and to the future of organic food and farming. What GM foods are on the market and what is coming? What actions can we take to stop GM apples, salmon and alfalfa? Join us to get the latest information and ask your questions!

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Kelowna protests GMO foods and crops

April: Many thanks to Global Media for getting this out: Heidi Osterman, a Kelowna Nutritionist, came to Vancouver in the early spring to our big GMO Workshop and got very inspired. She educated herself on the perils of GMO and is now educating others to understand what they eat and why they should care. I am thrilled at the number of protesters that showed up to this rally: people are waking up and getting the message. Thanks Heidi, you go girl!! And thanks to NDP’s Alex Atamanenko for bringing Bill C-474 forward: let’s all get together and support this bill for Canada!

Photo and original article link.

Protesters battling against government support for genetically modified foods gathered in downtown Kelowna for a rally Sunday afternoon.

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Call you MP today! Ask them to vote to extend the debate on Bill C-474

Tonight at 5:30 all Members of Parliament will be called to the House of Commons for various votes including the vote on the sixth report from the Agriculture Committee – this is the request to allow a 30-day extension to the debate on Bill C-474.

Please call your MP and ask them to be present tonight in the House to
vote for the extension. You can search for your MP with your postal
code at www.parl.gc.ca
You can also call Liberal Agriculture Critic Wayne Easter: (613)
992-2406
You can also call Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff: (613) 995-9364

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Bill C-474: Chronological Order

Liberals and Conservatives Vote Down Bill C-474

Inaction on genetic engineering will cost farmers – groups vow to protect alfalfa in ongoing controversy

Thursday, February 10, 2011. Ottawa – Last night, a majority of Liberal MPs joined with Conservatives to vote down an important Private Members Bill on genetic engineering (GE). Bill C-474 would have required that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.” The Bill was defeated 176 to 97.

“Farmers had everything to gain if the Bill was passed. Now we have everything to lose while biotech companies once again have everything to gain,” said Colleen Ross, Vice President of the National Farmers Union. “Our government has been supporting genetic engineering at any cost. But we refuse to accept their willingness to sacrifice some farmers and some crops for the sake of the biotech industry,” said Ross. “Our democracy has to work for farmers and consumers and not just for multinational biotech corporations.”

“The excuses for not supporting the Bill were never truly valid,” said Maureen Bostock, speaking for the Ecological Farmers of Ontario, “This is a clear case of politicians siding with the powerful biotech industry.”

“The Bill was voted down but a real debate about the impacts and future of genetic engineering has now started,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, “Canadians defied the tremendous power of the industry lobby by pushing the Bill further than any other on this issue.”

“Its crazy that the economic risks to farmers are not considered before GE crops are put on the market,” said Genevieve Grossenbacher a young Quebec farmer speaking for the Canadian Organic Growers. “Its farmers who pay the costs of GE contamination, not the biotech companies.”

An immediate concern shared by both conventional and organic farmers is the threat of crop contamination by GE alfalfa. On January 27th, the US Department of Agriculture approved plantings despite widespread opposition from farmers and consumers, and after protracted legal cases. Canada is only one step away from allowing GE alfalfa to be planted here. “It’s urgent that our Members of Parliament take action to stop GE alfalfa from being imported or being approved and grown in Canada. This is the only way to protect our conventional and organic alfalfa from loss of markets and loss of livelihoods,” said Cathy Holtslander speaking for the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate. Because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees, GE contamination is inevitable. In addition to export markets for processed alfalfa products, alfalfa is used as pasture and high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, and pigs and is also used to build up nutrients in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming.

“Genetic engineering has become more controversial over the years, not less,” said Eric Darier, Director of Greenpeace Quebec, speaking on behalf of the Quebec Network Against GMOs, a coalition of over 20 groups. “The problems with genetic engineering are not going away and the federal government is still refusing to address the issues head on.”

“Building a strong future for food and farming in Canada will take political leadership. Elected representatives must listen to what farmers and consumers are saying,” said Tony Beck of the Society for a GE Free BC, a coalition of local grassroots groups, “Canadians are becoming more involved in farming issues and want to support a sustainable food system.”

Private Members Bill C-474 was introduced by NDP Agriculture Critic and MP for BC Southern Interior, Alex Atamanenko.

For more information:
Colleen Ross, National Farmers Union, Cell: 613 213 1522;
Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241 2267 ext 25;
Cathy Holtslander, Saskatchewan Organic Directorate, 306 384 2141;
Maureen Bostock, Ecological Farmers of Ontario, 613 259 5757;
Eric Darier, Quebec Network Against GMOs, Cell: 514 605-6497 (English or French);
Tony Beck, Society for a GE Free BC, Cell: 604 671 2106.

This post is long but has chronological information on Alex Atamanenko’s Bill C-474. It is about to “heat up” again, so for those that need a little history, read on.

It is imperative that this Bill be passed. It asks to take a closer look and do more testing on the introduction of GM crops/seeds/plants. It is a Bill that protects all farmers: organic, conventional and GM.

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) petition: please sign!

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September 30, 2010: Important Updates on Bill C-474

Please see below an article from this week’s “The Hill Times”
newspaper that reports on Parliamentary happenings – it exposes the
biotech industry’s extensive lobbying against Bill C-474. Please also
see below some important updates. Join us to make this concrete change
happen! http://www.cban.ca/474

INDUSTRY IS WORRIED: The Bill is having an international impact – the
global biotech industry is concerned that we might be able to make
this concrete change happen in Canada. Industry associations around
the world understand that this simple, reasonable Bill has the power
to stop them from commercializing GM alfalfa and GM wheat as well as
other GMOs. CBAN attended a recent industry conference where CropLife
International and the Biotechnology Industry Organization both warned
industry audiences that they need to fight the inclusion of social and
economic considerations in assessments of GMOs. Agribusiness giant
Syngenta has also been speaking directly against the Bill. The issue
of GE salmon and the GE “Enviropig” have heightened this conflict.

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Monsanto takes on CBAN re: Bill C-474: Students in Vancouver take action

Please see below that Monsanto is fighting back to stop Bill C-474
and CBAN’s successful campaign.
1. The industry arguments are desperate  and make very little sense – stay tuned for CBAN rebuttal of industry  arguments: “If you let groups like CBAN offer their comment I don’t think it really has any interest whatsoever in protecting farmers’
rights to access to new technology.” – Trish Jordan, Monsanto Canada
(from below article)

2. House of Commons Agriculture Committee hearings on Bill C-474 will
happen in late May and early June.

3. Your actions continue: Vancouver Kingsway NDP MP Don Davies
presented a petition in the House of Commons April 29 in support of
Bill C-474, signed by well over 100 students, organized by Chanel and
Cassandra Ly, Emily Chan and Brendan Chan. “These students took the
leadership and initiative to educate their classmates about this
important issue raised by this bill and I am proud to present their
views in Parliament on their behalf. These students want to protect
the environment, ensure the health of Canadians and support community
food producers. I join with them in calling for the swift passage of
this bill through committee and into law,” said Mr. Davies in the
House of Commons. You can download the petition from http://www.cban.ca/474
and request your MP to present in the House also.

Article:

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Alex Atamanenko’s Private Member Bills on GMO and Farmer Protection

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.
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Tomorrow Bill C-474 is Debated in Canada!

Tomorrow, Wednesday March 17, 5:30 Bill C-474 will be debated in the  House of Commons. You can watch live at http://www.cpac.ca or follow http://www.cban.ca/474result for commentary and updates! Please continue to send your letters. Please see below today’s press releases.

PRESS RELEASE Ottawa. Tuesday, March 16, 2010

GE Crops: Parliament to debate the need for export market acceptance  before commercial release

Tomorrow, Parliament will debate Private Members Bill C-474 to require
that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted
before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”

“The Bill is necessary to protect farmers from economic harm caused by
the release of GE seeds that are not approved in our export markets,”
said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action
Network, a coalition of 17 groups.
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