Next spring, farmers in Canada will be able to sow one of the most complicated genetically engineered plants ever designed, a futuristic type of corn containing eight foreign genes.
With so much crammed into one seed, the modified corn will be able to confer multiple benefits, such as resistance to corn borers and rootworms, two caterpillar-like pests that infest the valuable grain crop, as well as withstanding applications of glyphosate, a weed killer better known by its commercial name, Roundup.
But a controversy has arisen over the new seeds, which were approved for use last month by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Health Canada hasn’t assessed their safety.
The health agency said in response to questions from The Globe and Mail that it didn’t have to do so, because it is relying on the two companies making the seeds, agriculture giants Monsanto Co. and Dow AgroSciences LLC, to flag any safety concerns. But the companies haven’t tested the seeds either, because they say they aren’t required to.
The companies have checked the safety of each of the eight genes one at a time in individual corn plants, but haven’t done so when they combined the foreign matter together in one seed, says Trish Jordan, a spokesperson for Monsanto Canada Inc.
Posted in Biotech Companies, Canadian Politics & Food, Food Security, Monsanto, World GE Politics
Tagged Allergens, Biotech Companies, Canadian Food Politics, CBAN, Dow AgroSciences, Globe & Mail, Health Canada, Lucy Sharratt, Monsanto, SmartStax Corn, Trish Jordan, UN Codex
By April Reeves, June 2, 2010
Another pathetic response from Health Canada. I have had many emails suggesting a class action suit against them, and I think it’s time to change them out, however we plan to do it.
Posted in Biotech Companies, Canadian Politics & Food, Food Security, Monsanto, Take Action!
Tagged April Reeves, Ban GM crops, Biotech Companies, Canadian Food Politics, Food Security, Health Canada, Leona Aglukkaq, Monsanto, MP, Take Action!
Stop “EnviroPig”! Take Action today to stop genetically modified
Write to the Minister of Health instantly from http://www.cban.ca/enviropigaction
Health Canada could soon approve the first genetically modified (GM)
animal for human consumption. The University of Guelph has applied for
food safety approval of its GM pig – they call it “Enviropig”.
The GM pig contains genetic material from a mouse and E-coli bacteria,
and is engineered to excrete less phosphorus in its feces. Its owners
claim that “Enviropig” can reduce water pollution caused by excess
pig manure that comes from industrial factory farms. A GM pig is not
needed to solve this problem. Pigs can be raised without causing
phosphorus pollution – by making changes to production practices or
using an enzyme feed supplement that helps pigs digest grains.
“Enviropig” is not needed by farmers and is not wanted by consumers.
“Enviropig” is unacceptable and will harm the markets for Canada’s
hog producers at a time of severe economic crisis in the industry.
Health Canada is wasting precious public resources trying to assess the safety of a GM animal that no one wants. Health Canada does not have the capacity to regulate this complex technology for human safety.
Write to the Minister of Health today from http://www.cban.ca/enviropigaction
and tell her that GM animals are not acceptable in our food system.
Tell her that you don’t want to eat “Enviropig”
For more information on “Enviropig” and how you can join the campaign
Donate today to support the campaign to stop “Enviropig” http://www.cban.ca/donate
This action alert was issued May 18 2010, by the Canadian
Biotechnology Action Network www.cban.ca in partnership with Beyond
Factory Farming www.beyondfactoryfarming.org
Join us in building the campaign: http://www.cban.ca/enviropig
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
Take action to Stop “Envriopig”: No GM Animals http://www.cban.ca/enviropig
Donate Today http://www.cban.ca/donate
Subscribe to the CBAN News and Action Listserve http://www.cban.ca/About/CBAN-e-News
Posted in Animal Health and GMO, Canadian Politics & Food, CBAN, Food Security, Take Action!, World Food Politics
Tagged CBAN, E-Coli bacteria, Enviropig, Factory Farms, Genetically Modified Animals, GMO, Guelph University, Health Canada, Hog Producers, Human Safety, Lucy Sharratt, Mouse genes, Take Action!
You may ask why I am posting issues on pesticides. You may ask what they have to do with GMO’s?
GMO crops use pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides) and because there is a resistance being created in weeds to these chemicals, all forms of pesticides are being manufactured in stronger batches. It’s a cycle that will be very difficult to break now. We are in it. This is the tipping point. It is up to every individual to come to some understanding of what the real issue is here. It’s not about the chemicals. It’s about control. Read on:
By DR. IAN SIMPSON
The Western Star
My letter last week about cosmetic use of pesticides has promoted some discussion both in The Western Star printed edition and its web edition.
I would like to reply to Tuesday’s letter from Lorne Hepworth of CropLife Canada.
He states “we can rest assured that before any pesticide is sold in Canada it undergoes comprehensive scientific review and risk assessment by Health Canada.”
Health Canada has created PMRA — the Pesticide Management and Regulatory Agency — which is the responsible body for reviewing all the studies submitted. But there are problems:
- Underfunding — in 2002, $8 million of the funding was from the pesticide industry.
- PMRA does not conduct its own in-house laboratory work. It reviews the research provided — most of it from industry sources and most of it not published in peer reviewed literature.
- The industry requests PMRA to treat the material as “proprietary.” So this science remains hidden.
- PMRA relies mainly on U.S.A. studies (80 per cent of the studies reviewed in the early part of the decade.)
- Health Canada has a track record of approving pesticides, only to later phase them out due to health and environmental concerns. Examples: DDT, Eldrin, Diazinon, Dursan, Mecoprop.
- PMRA does not evaluate other chemicals in the formulation, so- called “inerts,” or the breakdown products.
Mr. Hepworth goes on to say “As for benefits … well maintained public and private spaces make for happier healthier communities.” Happier I will not debate, but healthier? This I will argue is nonsense. In the comments on the web page, DB from NL worries at the use of the word “linked” when commenting on the link between pesticide exposure and different diseases. DB would like hard numbers and quantification.
Posted in Biotech Companies, Canadian Politics & Food, Food Security, Herbicides, Pesticides, Take Action!, World Food Politics
Tagged Ban GM crops, Biotech Companies, Canadian Food Politics, Food Security, Fungicides, Health Canada, Herbicides, Insecticides, Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency, Pesticides, Super Pests, Superweeds