Tag Archives: Take Action!

We need your help to make Richmond GE Free

Richmond City Council will be deciding, within about 3 weeks, whether to accept a resolution to declare itself a GMO-free zone.

The City’s official Agricultural Advisory Committee DID NOT support the resolution and so I’m turning to you.

Would you take a few seconds to sign this petition to show that this is an important issue not only for the residents of Richmond but for the entire province?

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/467/476/570/declare-richmond-bc-ge-free/

If you could forward the petition on to friends, that would be much appreciated to.

In solidarity,

GE Free BC Steering Committee

New CBAN movie on the dangers of GE alfalfa

Take action now, watch the movie and click on the link below to email the Federal Minister of Agriculture

Great animated video on GM Alfalfa! 3-minute action-packed educational video on genetically modified alfalfa now posted!
Watch Now! <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlbtIEVF77Q&context=C383a5d6ADOEgsToPDskLqMXdLgQDBu5FNEPcMBWBW>Follow the bee as she finds out about Monsanto’s plans for genetically modified alfalfa. GM alfalfa is not yet legal in Canada but this could change soon. Alfalfa is an important crop for family farms and for the production of many organic foods. Together, we can still stop GM alfalfa!

Take Action to Stop GM Alfalfa!1. Share and post the video. Screen it at your community events.

2. Send your letter to the Minister of Agriculture instantly from http://www.cban.ca/alfalfaaction1

3. Find more information and action – get more involved at http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa

4. Donate today at http://www.cban.ca/donateThis video was produced by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network with support from:
The Big Carrot Natural Market Toronto www.thebigcarrot.ca
De Dell Seeds Incorporated www.dedellseeds.com
Green Being Farm www.greenbeingfarm.ca
Nature’s Path Foods www.naturespath.com
Organic Agriculture Protection Fund of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate www.oapf.saskorganic.com
The Organic Council of Ontario www.organiccouncil.ca
Smiley Guy Studios www.smileyguy.com

Alfalfa growers do not need or want genetically modified (GM) alfalfa and have been trying to stop it for at least five years. Organic food and farming in North America is under immediate threat from GM alfalfa. Conventional farmers will also lose their markets. The introduction of Monsanto’s GM herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa would have serious negative impacts on many different types of farmers and farming systems. Because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees, GM contamination is inevitable. GM alfalfa was actually approved in Canada in 2005 but still needs to go through one more step before it can be legally sold as seed in Canada. Protect family farms, join the campaign to stop GM alfalfa! For more information and action see http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa

Action alert: write to Agriculture Canada

Action Alert: Deadline November 25, 2011  Issued by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

Stop Canada from legalizing contamination from unapproved GM foods.

Write to Agriculture Canada from http://www.cban.ca/llpaction

The Canadian Government is proposing to allow contamination of our food supply with genetically engineered foods that have not been approved for safe eating in Canada. Agriculture Canada has opened a comment period until November 25, 2011.
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Hear Lucy Sharratt from CBAN on GMOs in Osoyoos and Keremeos on Wednesday

Go to http://www.cban.ca/Events for more details

Wednesday September 21
Osoyoos
2:00 PM Sonora Centre, 8505 68th Avenue, Osoyoos, Free Admission
Featuring Lucy Sharratt, CBAN Coordinator, with Allan Patton, Oliver farmer and Regional District director and Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior.
Hosted by Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior. Co-sponsored by CBAN and The Society for a GE Free BC.

Wednesday September 21
Keremeos
7:00-9:00 PM Victory Hall, 427 7th Avenue, Keremeos, Free Admission
Featuring Lucy Sharratt, CBAN Coordinator, with Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior; Andrea Turner, Similkameen Okanagan Organic Producers Association; and Lee McFadyen, Live Earth Organic Growers Association.
Hosted by Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior. Co-sponsored by CBAN and The Society for a GE Free BC.

Monsanto contamination takes out Organic Farm again

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 – www.cban.ca/474

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.”

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GM Salmon: Chronological Order of Events

The following is a chronological order of events for those following the GM Salmon issue. This is a “hot” issue like Bill C-474. Your immediate action is called on to keep this fish out of the North American food chain, permanently.

Posted: October 4: Organic Consumer’s Association

The 10 Freakiest Things About Frankenfish

Here’s the Organic Consumers Association’s latest Huffington Post blog on GMO salmon:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronnie-cummins/10-freakiest-things-about_b_737267.html

10. According to the FDA, Frankenfish Aren’t Animals, They’re “Animal Drugs”

Normally, a veterinary drug would be used for health purposes, but there’s no therapeutic benefit associated with jacking up an Atlantic salmon with the genes of a Chinook salmon and the eel-like ocean pout to make it grow twice as fast.

The biotech industry pushed FDA to treat genetically engineered animals like drugs because they knew the drug evaluation process would keep companies’ “proprietary” information secret, while limiting public participation and downplaying food safety concerns.

9. The GMO Part of the GMO Salmon Isn’t Being Safety Tested

Since 1992, the FDA has operated under the legal fiction created by the Bush-Quayle Administration that there is no risk associated with the human consumption of genetically engineered plants and animals. The FDA explains that DNA is Generally Recognized as Safe, so genetically engineered DNA is safe, too, and it doesn’t have to be safety tested.

8. Frankenfish DNA Could Change the Bacteria of Your Gut

A human study conducted by the UK’s Food Standards Agency found that consuming genetically engineered soy can result in “horizontal gene transfer,” where the bacteria of the gut takes up the soy’s modified DNA. With GMO salmon, the bacteria of our digestive tracks could take up the engineered salmon genes, but the FDA isn’t looking into whether this would happen or how it might effect our health, because…

7. If It Swims Like a Salmon, FDA Says It’s Safe to Eat

Instead of reviewing the safety of consuming genetically engineered salmon DNA, the FDA food safety review is a simple quacks-like-a-duck-style comparison of genetically engineered and normal salmon.

6. FDA Lets the Frankenfish Company Test Its Own Product’s Safety

The FDA’s food safety review of GMO salmon consists of collecting data produced by AquaBounty, the company that wants to sell it. Not surprisingly, that data is seriously flawed with bias and bad science.

5. Frankenfish Is More Carcinogenic

GMO salmon has 40% more IGF1, a hormone linked to prostate, breast and colon cancers in humans.

4. Frankenfish Is Less Nutritious

GMO salmon has the lowest omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of all the salmon in the studies FDA reviewed, greatly reducing the health benefits of associated with eating salmon.

3. Frankenfish Is More Allergenic

GE salmon have mean allergenic potencies that are 20% and 52% higher than normal salmon, increasing the risk of potentially deadly allergic reactions.

2. GMOs Can Mess a Fish Up!

The FDA notes evidence of “increased frequency of skeletal malformations, and increased prevalence of jaw erosions and multi-systemic, focal inflammation” in the tissues of GMO salmon, but dismisses these findings as “within the range observed in rapid growth phenotypes of non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.”

Turns out “normal” factory farmed salmon selected for rapid growth and subjected to the physiological stress of intensive production are already afflicted with “screamer disease,” which deforms 80% of Chilean salmon, and “humpback” spinal compression, found in 70% of Norwegian salmon operations.

Thanks, FDA, for letting us know that factory farmed salmon are so messed up! But, that’s no reason to turn them into Frankenfish!

But the freakiest thing about all of this is…

1. The Government Wants More Transgenic Fish and Less Wild Fish

The main justification for GMO salmon is that it could reduce the pressure on wild fish stocks, but consumption isn’t the primary pressure on wild salmon, destruction of their habitat is. The spawning grounds of wild salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, are threatened by plans for Pebble Mine, which would be the largest open-pit copper and gold mine in the US. A disaster at Pebble Mine could mean the destruction of a quarter of a billion pounds of salmon, about the same amount of GMO salmon AquaBounty hopes to produce. The EPA could stop Pebble Mine through the Clean Water Act but has failed to act.

October 1, 2010: Biotech Gets Fishy with GE Salmon
Some say genetic engineering was always fishy, but now the fish
themselves are engineered.

For 15 years genetically engineered (GE, also called genetically
modified or GM) canola, corn, and soy ingredients (and recently, some
GE sugar) proliferated in processed foods in North America. (www.cban.ca/gefoods) Now salmon is the next genetically engineered food that threatens to be introduced to market.

AquaBounty, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, is asking the
US to approve its genetically engineered Atlantic salmon for human
consumption, and says it will ask for approval soon in Canada as well.
The company claims its “AquAdvantage” salmon grow to market-size twice
as fast as other farmed salmon. That’s because the Atlantic salmon are
engineered with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon, and genetic
material from ocean pout (an eel-like creature). The fish produce
growth hormone throughout the year, rather than just for 3 months as
they would normally.

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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!

– – – –

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.

Continue reading

European Commission just approved GM crops against public outcry

Hi everyone, this just in: The European Commission has just approved growing genetically modified crops in the European Union for the first time in 12 years!

Caving to the GM lobby, the commission has ignored 60% of Europeans who feel we have to get the facts first before growing foods that could pose a threat to our health and environment.

A new initiative allows 1 million EU citizens to make official legal requests of the European Commission. Let’s build a million voices for a ban on GM foods until the research is done; they will be delivered to the President Barroso of the European Commission. Sign the petition and forward this email to friends and family:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_gmo/97.php?cl_tta_sign=78f715d47d346f4b3182271f00fcf3c8

I urge you all to sign this: should the EU all move into GMO, Canada will not be able to hold back GM crops as easily, as Canada will now have a willing and easier market to sell to. Right now, we have to adhere to strict standards for GMO contamination. That will change, unfortunately, unless we speak loud and clear!

Consumers, public health, environmental and farmers groups have long rallied against a few international GM companies having such significant influence over European agriculture. Concerns about growing GM crops include: contamination of organic crops and the environment; their impact on climate due to the excessive need for pesticides; the destruction of biodiversity and local agriculture; and the effects of GM food on public health.

EU member states have voiced strong opposition to last week’s decision to authorise BASF’s potato and Monsanto’s maize — Italy and Austria are opposed, and France said it would ask for further scientific research.
There is still no consensus on the long-term effects of GM crops. And it is the GM industry, pursuing profits not public well being, that is funding the science and driving the regulatory environment. That is why European citizens are calling for more independent research, testing and precaution before crops are unleashed onto our land.

Now, the “European Citizens’ Initiative” gives 1 million EU citizens the opportunity to submit policy proposals to the European Commission and offers us a unique chance to drown out lobbyists’ influence.
Let’s raise 1 million voices to put a moratorium on the introduction of GM crops into Europe and set up an independent, ethical and scientific body to research and determine the strong regulation of GM crops. Sign the petition now and then forward it widely:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_gmo/97.php?cl_tta_sign=78f715d47d346f4b3182271f00fcf3c8

GMO Workshop Thursday July 22 2010

This is a GMO Workshop for active Activists! Here’s an opportunity to learn, take action and meet like-minded people. Join us this Thursday!

Monsanto in Your Garden: Why You Need to Buy Organic Seeds

When most people think of Monsanto, they picture huge Midwest farms growing Roundup Ready GMO corn and soy.  But did you know that Monsanto and other agrochemical multinationals are in the home garden vegetable seed business as well?

The commercial seed industry has undergone vast consolidation in the last few decades, with several agro giants buying up many seed companies around the world.  The majority of these companies target the commercial agriculture industry, but companies such as Monsanto and Swiss-based Syngenta produce a range of seeds for the home vegetable gardener as well.

Aside from the anti-trust issues raised from having a few large corporations control the world’s seed supply, there are other concerns as well. The recent consolidation frenzy has resulted in a drastic decrease in the variety of seeds. Insects and disease tend to attack monocultures, so the strength of any ecosystem is the level of its plant diversity. Monocultures, where the same type of crops grow on large plots of land year in and year out, also lead to an increase in pesticide usage.  This is convenient for the giant seed companies, since they’re in the pesticide and herbicide business as well.

Continue reading

Ten Thousand Haiti Peasants Protested Monsanto’s Seeds

10,000 Haitian peasant farmers marched Friday June 4 to protest
Monsanto’s donation of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds. The farmers  are asking groups around the world to “Struggle Against Monsanto and its associates.”

See photos from Haiti and the solidarity action in Montreal and more
information at http://www.cban.ca/Monsanto

Union Paysanne, Action SOS Haiti, and the Canadian Biotechnology
Action Network called on people in Montreal to gather outside the
Haitian Consulate on Friday to express solidarity with Haitian peasant
groups who are rejecting Monsanto’s donation of hybrid corn seeds. A
delegation delivered a letter to the Haitian consulate in support of
the farmers’ concerns and met with the Consul General for half an
hour. There was huge media coverage of the event in the French-
language press in particular.

Solidarity actions were called for by the Haitian Peasant Movement of
Papay (MPP) and supported by La Via Campesina.

(Now available! “Stop Monsanto” buttons are now available from CBAN.
Check http://www.cban.ca/Monsanto )

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
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

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

Health Canada’s response to my email: GE alfalfa & wheat

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.

My email:

Continue reading

Maple Leaf Foods Responds To Enviropig

April Reeves, June 1, 2010

I am on the bandwagon with the Enviropig. It stinks. Literally. So I asked Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s largest hog producers, what their position was on Enviropig, and this was their answer:

May 21, 2010


Case #622843



Dear Ms. Reeves,


Thank you for your recent inquiry.


We are monitoring the situation and no decision has been made at this time. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at our toll-free number of 1-800-268-3708.


Sincerely,

Jackie Verdez
Consumer Response Representative

– – –

Wow, how amazing, to get a response from a customer rep! I feel honored, Maple Leaf.

So, I am going to continue with my quest for information, and I am urging you to follow along. Below are emails and names of those in Maple Leaf who may actually answer us from Canada with something intelligent to say.

Please contact these nice folks with your question: “What is Maple Leaf’s response to the Enviropig? Will Maple Leaf allow the Enviropig into our food chain?”

And let them know that Canadians don’t want it!

CBAN’s link to Minister of Health: http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/Enviropig This is easy to follow and do, so please take a minute to do this.

Maple Leaf:

Contact Maple Leaf: http://www.mapleleaf.com/en/corporate/contact-us/request-form/

Investor Relations: singerdi@mapleleaf.ca (they really need to hear you)!

Results of our GMO Movie Showing

April Reeves, May 24 2010

I thought it would be appropriate to post the results from our first Free Movie Showing evening on the 22nd of May.

The showing was held in the Ralph Fisher Auditorium which holds around 160 people. It was almost packed out, and many people came and went (hospital staff from Richmond General next door!). Once we broke into Q&A, no one left. Many great questions were answered by a panel of 4: Arzeena Hamir, Larry Tolton, Teresa Quach and April Reeves.

Nature’s Path was a sponsor and provided the granola bars for the event. I will be sending them flowers – what a wonderful company! And really great food by the way – to those who haven’t sampled their cereals yet.

We also had free Heirloom bean and pea seeds to start planting your GMO-free garden. A draw to win one of 2 full gardens ready-to-plant was a big hit at the end. The plants went to a good home 🙂

Many ‘active’ GMO activists showed up: April Goodman and Inge Hanle being just 2 of the many, but 2 vocal ones.

Discussions around current issues was hot: Bill C-474, Enviropig, CETA: Canadian European Trade Agreement, Codex and Terminator trees were discussed.

It is also being discussed to take this event into every other municipality in the lower mainland. What was learned is that most people in the urban/city areas have no idea about their food. They have no idea what a GMO is. It’s time to begin a long procedure of educating them. This is one of the few ways we can stop these potentially harmful foods from entering our system permanently, keep our freedom of choice and stop corporate control of Canada.

We will also work with others that wish to lead their groups into pushing for GE Free zones around BC as well. This is more important than ever now. If we sit idly by and say nothing, do nothing, our world as we know it will be gone. This is not the future we want to leave our children.

You can make a HUGE difference right now!

This is minimal effort with maximum effect: there is a poll on this website that asks if you want Richmond BC to be a GE Free zone – cast your vote asap before the poll disappears. There is power in the YES vote: scroll down the page and the poll is on the left hand side 2/3 of the way down. Thanks – in advance – to everyone that votes yes!

http://www.bclocalnews.com/richmond_southdelta/richmondreview/

Article posts for GMO: May 20

April: There just wasn’t enough time in the day to post the really good stuff in full, so I am going to start listing the links to articles I think you may want or need.

HRAC members decide to boycott Genetically Modified foods

French Wine to Be Modified Genetically

Prisoners turn over a new leaf with eye on environment

Orwell-Speak Award Goes to Canada’s GM “Enviropig”

Protesters Block Monsanto in the Netherlands – Demanding End to GMOs

Facebook Page (Arzeena Hamir, GE Free Steering Committee) on Roger’s Sugar: asking us to send Roger’s an email on GMO Sugarbeets. Please let Roger’s know that you will not buy their products anymore.

Chemtrails and Monsanto’s New Aluminum Resistance Gene – Coincidence?

Monsanto Plant Shut Down by Activists in Europe

Stop “Enviropig”: Take action to stop GM Animals in Canada

Stop “EnviroPig”! Take Action today to stop genetically modified
animals.

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
visit http://www.cban.ca/enviropig

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
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

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

Canada & Codex: GM labeling – US Increasingly Isolated

Canada at the UN Codex meeting on GM food labeling: Negotiations continue, U.S. increasingly isolated

Your actions worked – again!

Thanks to your letters, the Canadian government delegation to the UN
Codex meeting last week did not boldly ally itself with the U.S.
position against GM food labeling. The U.S. failed in their attempts
to stop the negotiations.

The Canadian government did not speak up to support the nonsensical
position from the U.S. that GM foods are no different from foods
produced through conventional methods. Though not yet actively
supporting a positive position on GM labeling, Canada did not obstruct
the meeting and the U.S. was not able to put an end to the
negotiations. Out of the over 50 countries at the negotiations, the
U.S. was only supported in its position by Mexico, Costa Rica, and
Argentina.

Codex recommendations on GM labeling could protect developing
countries from challenges brought through the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. was trying to put an end to the UN Codex negotiations on GM
labeling but the negotiations will continue. There will be an
important Codex meeting in May 2011 in Quebec City – and we must
continue to pressure the Minister of Health. The Canadian
Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) will continue to take action and
monitor this issue, as well as collaborate with U.S. groups. Please
see below from Consumers Union in the U.S.

For updates and more information: http://www.cban.ca/labeling

Please consider your donation to support this campaign http://www.cban.ca/donate

May 10, 2010 Update

Press Release: Consumers Union Calls on U.S. to Support Genetically Modified Food Labeling Agreement

U.S. Stands Nearly Alone in Opposition at Recent International Meeting

Yonkers, NY—Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer
Reports, today called on the Obama Administration to endorse a
compromise on guidelines for labeling of genetically modified (GM)/
genetically engineered (GE) food, that was supported by the
overwhelming majority of nations during international negotiations
last week in Canada.  Consumers Union again expressed serious concerns
that the current U.S. position in opposition to the compromise on GE/
GM labeling could create major problems in the long term for U.S. and
foreign producers who want to label their products as free of GM/GE
ingredients.

Continue reading

Farm income drops to staggering lows

From the Western Producer paper, May 6 2010

Farm income predictions grim

Projections 91 percent below 2009

The 2010 farm income projections are devastating.
Agriculture Canada released them with little fanfare in late April, which is later than normal.
A sector that will produce $41.6 billion in farmgate receipts this year will return $291.5 million to farmers in realized net income after depreciation. It is a 91 percent reduction from 2009 levels.
Several provinces will be in deficit, including Ontario and Alberta.
The hog and cattle sectors will be hit particularly hard, according to the numbers prepared by and agreed to by federal and provincial officials.
The forecast projects a 12 percent increase in program payments to $3.76 billion despite an Agriculture Canada longer-term projection of a sharp decline in government support over the next three years.
National and provincial leaders affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture called the numbers a clear signal that federal programs are not working.
“The government’s own forecasts show deep losses for many commodities and highlight that the business risk management programs currently in place were not designed to function with today’s unique set of economic circumstances,” CFA president Laurent Pellerin said in a statement.

Next Wednesday – GMO Workshop for GM Activists

How To Create A GMO Event

This is a post for those interested in hosting an event to bring awareness to GMO issues. It follows our May 22 event: Plant Your GE Free Garden and free movie showing.

Real Event as a Model: Step by Step Guidance

by April Reeves:

I’m going to write about a real event I’m organizing. May 22 is the date. Ralph Fisher Auditorium is the venue: holds 300+ people and I intend to fill it. Here’s how:

Continue reading

If you ever wanted to make a difference…

Canada-EU trade agreement damaging

From The Western Producer April 20 2010

By Terry Boehm, National Farmers Union

Canada and the European Union are negotiating a new free trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
This agreement with the EU is no small matter for farmers. The CETA, if implemented, will, as much as the North American Free Trade Agreement or the World Trade Organization, transform Canadian agriculture and farms. And not for the better. The CETA will further intensify Canada’s farm income crisis.
The CETA would mean many changes, but none would be more negative or sweeping than its effect to extinguish farmers’ rights to save and use seeds.
Worse, the agreement would give enforcement powers to any corporation that asserted a farmer had infringed the company’s intellectual property rights.
The CETA would require Canada to implement the UPOV ’91 version of plant breeders’ rights (PBR). That version of the International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties would virtually eliminate farmers’ rights to save, reuse and sell seed.

Urgent Action Alert ? Support GM Food Labeling – Take action before May 5, 2010

Tell the Minister of Health that Canada must support the right of
countries to label genetically modified (GM) foods. Send a letter
instantly from
http://www.cban.ca/labelingaction

Canada could work to shut down negotiations on GM labeling at the UN Codex meeting next week in Quebec City.

May 3-7, governments will negotiate food labeling standards at the UN Codex meeting, including recommendations on GM labeling. The US is trying to stop the negotiations from continuing, and Canada may also try to end the negotiations.

Developing countries want support from Codex for their right to label
GM foods. The US and Canada want to make sure this doesn’t happen
because Codex recommendations on GM labeling could protect developing
countries from challenges brought through the World Trade Organization.

Canada and the US also argue that GM foods are not any different from
foods created through conventional methods. This is not supported by
science, including Codex’s own food safety guidelines!

Despite polls that show over 80% of Canadians want mandatory labeling of GM foods, the Canadian government continues to bow to intense pressure from the biotech industry and refuses to label GM foods.

Help protect the rights of developing countries to label GM foods!
Take action before May 5, 2010 at http://www.cban.ca/labelingaction

For more updates and for information on labeling and Codex see http://www.cban.ca/labeling

This action alert was issued by the Canadian Biotechnology Action
Network, April 29, 2010 www.cban.ca
Donate to support the campaign today http://www.cban.ca/donate

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
coordinator@cban.ca
www.cban.ca

Your actions worked! MPs voted for Bill C-474! (it will now be studied by the Agriculture Committee.)
For more updates and action http://www.cban.ca/474
Donate today http://www.cban.ca/donate

Organic practices can feed the world

Be not troubled by Robert Paarlberg’s scaremongering. Organic practices can feed the world — better, in fact, than wasteful industrial farming.

In May 2004, Catherine Badgley, an evolutionary biology professor at the University of Michigan, took her students on a research trip to an organic farm near their campus. Standing on the acre-and-a-half farm, Badgley asked the farmer, Rob MacKercher, how much food he produces annually. “Twenty-seven tons,” he said. Badgley did the quick math: That’s enough to provide 150 families one pound of produce every single day of the year.

“If he can grow that quantity on this tiny parcel,” Badgley wondered, “why can’t organic agriculture feed the world?” That question was the genesis of a multi-year, multidisciplinary study to explore whether we could, indeed, feed the world with organic, sustainable methods of farming. The results? A resounding yes.

Unfortunately, you don’t hear about this study, or others with similar findings, in “Attention Whole Foods Shoppers,” Robert Paarlberg’s defense of industrial agriculture in the new issue of Foreign Policy. Instead, organic agriculture, according to Paarlberg, is an “elite preoccupation,” a “trendy cause” for “purist circles.” Sure, sidling up to a Whole Foods in your Lexus SUV and spending $24.99 on artisan fromage may be the trappings of a privileged foodie, but there’s an SUV-sized difference between obsessing about the texture of your goat cheese and arguing for a more sustainable food system. Despite Paarlberg’s pronouncements, Badgley’s research, along with much more evidence, helps us see that what’s best for the planet and for people — especially small-scale farmers who are the hungriest among us — is a food system based on agroecological practices. What’s more, Paarlberg’s impressive-sounding statistics veil the true human and ecological cost we are paying with industrial agriculture.

Continue reading

CBAN: Could Canada-Europe trade deal eliminate seed saving?

Canada-Europe trade deal could virtually eliminate farmers’ rights to save seed: National Farmers Union

The third round of trade negotiations with Europe concludes this week
in Ottawa – National Farmers Union says leaked draft text reveals that
the Canada-Europe trade deal could virtually eliminate farmers’ rights
to save seed in Canada. GMOs exempt from the agreement as European
opposition continues. For more information see http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/Trade
National Farmers Union, Press Release, April 21, 2010

Secret text of Canada-EU Trade Deal Released: The agreement may be the largest single issue on farm-policy horizon.

OTTAWA, Ont. NFU President Terry Boehm was in Ottawa Monday to
participate in the release of a draft text of the Canada-EU
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).  The NFU is a
partner in the newly-formed Trade Justice Network, the group that
released the text.  Boehm also spoke at a well-attended evening
meeting in Ottawa dealing with the CETA.

“We now have in-hand a proposed agreement that would reshape Canadian
agriculture: reducing farm support program spending; radically
rewriting the laws that govern farmers’ seed saving and re-use; and
probably in the future, opening another front in the attacks against
the Canadian Wheat Board and supply management,” said NFU President
Boehm.

Continue reading

Secret Canadian-European Free Trade Agreement Makes Unreasonable Demands For Citizens

April 19, 2010

Trade Justice Network releases secret draft of Canada-European Union free trade agreement, makes demands of Canadian and European governments

Ottawa, April 19 – As the third round of Canada-European Union free trade negotiations commence the newly formed Trade Justice Network today publicly released the draft text of the proposed Canada-European Union Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – the most significant bilateral trade negotiation since the NAFTA.

The network is raising serious concerns about the agreement’s potential impact on public and environmental policy, and public services in both Canada and Europe, among other issues, and has outlined a set of demands that must be met before negotiations are allowed to continue.

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Free Movie Showing and Guest Speaker Panel

You can RSVP at: aprilreeves@shaw.ca or show up at the door. All RSVP seats will be reserved.

Guest Panel includes: April Reeves, Director, GE Free BC: Arzeena Hamir, Steering Committee, GE Free BC, Richmond Food Security, Farmland Defense League and other organizations (plus she’s an agrologist): Larry Tolton, Richmond Food Security, multiple generation farmer.

Donations will be accepted. They go towards stamps, paper, toner, envelopes and other materials. All members are volunteers. Sponsor donations include food and coupons: every participant will go home with ‘goodies’.

Hope to see you all there!

New food safety bill could crush local food movement

By Chris Hinyub Sat, Apr 17th 2010

Next week, the Senate will vote on a measure that could potentially extinguish California’s local food movement. Lobbied for by multinational agribusiness giants such as Cargill and Monsanto, as well as supported by the pharmaceutical industry, The Food Safety Modernization Act would impose financially crippling and practically useless regulations on family farms and small-scale food processors according to opponents.

The bill will require all food growers, regardless of size to keep accessible records, have more accountable monitoring and traceability protocols, and impose a blanket $500 registration fee. This means costly radio frequency identification (RFID chips) implanted in livestock as well as (according to the language of the bill) “science based” and “best practices” in agriculture will be mandated.

The FDA could impose standards which mandate, amongst other agribusiness mainstays, the use of highly toxic pesticides, hormones, GMOs and food irradiation practices on any and all growers.

These practices can be arbitrarily determined by the FDA deputy commissioner for foods, Michael Taylor. Interestingly enough, before Taylor found himself in a leading position at the Food and Drug Administration, he went from being Monsanto’s attorney, key in the deregulation of genetically modified organisms, to that company’s vice president.

Continue reading

Farmers reject high price of Monsanto seeds

From: Lucy Sharratt – CBAN Coordinator: coordinator@cban.ca

Monsanto earnings down, scraps profit target – farmers reject high priced GE seeds

Monsanto’s earnings disappoint – abandon target to double profits in 5 years – Farmers don’t buy Monsanto’s high prices.

Monsanto’s second quarter earnings did not match their projections, though the company is still robust (some were expecting worse results). Here are summary points from the below news:

– 19% drop in fiscal second quarter earnings, scrapped its target to double profit in 5 years.
– Monsanto shares have fallen about 15% this year.
– Equities analyst refers to Monsanto’s arrogance, its ambitious growth projections were unrealistic.
– Farmers refusing to pay new high price for Monsanto’s eight trait GE corn “SmartStax”  $75/bag http://www.cban.ca/corn
– Farmers also refusing to pay high prices for Roundup Ready2 technology.
– Monsanto’s claims to higher yield not substantiated with third-party data.
– Monsanto now reducing prices, heavily discounting SmartStax = “penetration pricing” to gain market share.

For more info on Monsanto: http://www.cban.ca/monsanto

You can write a letter from CBAN’s website to the Minister of Health asking her to withdraw approval for Monsanto’s “SmartStax” corn: http://www.cban.ca/corn

Update on Bill C-474

CBAN (Lucy Sharratt) sent this: we all need to move on this today!

Bill C-474 was voted down but not out!!

Your letters have a strong influence!  We are making great headway with this approach; the biotech firms are lobbying heavily to counter us. We must protect our farmers or lose our export markets and our ability to grow our own food.

Bill C-474 would support Canadian 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.”

April 1 Update: Loud “nays’ from Conservative MPs registered the provisional but not official defeat of Bill C-474 on April 1 in the oral vote – however your letters convinced the Liberal Agriculture Critic to recommend the Bill to Committee rather defeat it. On April 14 there will be an official, registered vote of all MPs present in the House at that time – the Liberal Party needs to make sure that all Liberal MPs vote for Bill C-474 on April 14!

You can write to the Liberals directly: CBAN has set up a page to make it easy for you: Letter to Michael Ignatieff.

Write your local MP here: Letter to my MP

Thank you to everyone who has done this, and an extra huge thanks for those that have forwarded this! It’s in our hands – we have the power!!

April Reeves, Director, GE Free BC

Deconstructing Dinner audio on GE Alfalfa and Wheat

Deconstructing Dinner is a web radio show from Nelson BC, a GE free zone.

This audio has over an hour of debate on Alex Atamanenko’s Bill C-474 that amends the seed act. There needs to be a mechanism in place to protect them from GE contamination of Non-GE crops and shipments. Alfalfa and wheat are the two main crops in question: what will happen to organic crops once GE is allowed in to Canada?

Deconstructing Dinner ‘deconstructs’ the debate as it goes along. Good reference for anyone wanting better information on this Bill.

How I grow food every year – Nutrigenomics

I ran across this article that talked about a new revolutionary way to eat that prevents disease and is tailored specifically for you. It’s called Nutrigenomics, and begins with garden grown vegetables that you ‘encode’. This is NOT a GMO project.

I have been doing this for years, so to hear it’s “new” was rather humorous. Here’s how it works:

You take the seeds you want to plant and eat, and place them under your tongue for at least 9 minutes. This allows the plant to “assume” your particular needs for your body. Plants can heal us if we let them. I use heritage and heirloom seeds only, from sources I trust (they are on this site). I then take water that I have washed my hands and feet with, and water those new seeds with it. Your hands and feet shed toxins and garbage from your system daily. The plants take this new data and create the foods you need to fix the problems in your own body.

This year we have added friends seeds to our personal garden. It will be interesting to see how their foods work for them.

Here is the article on Nutrigenomics.

Bill C-474 Results and Action Updates

Bill C-474 Results and Action Updates: Your action made a difference! – Lucy Sharratt – CBAN Coordinator

Thank you and congratulations to everyone who wrote letters to your  MPs! Bill C-474 lives another day, thanks to you!

Your actions made sure this Bill was not defeated yesterday, instead
it will to be debated one more time before you MP votes! This vote
could take place in April, or sooner.

What happened and what does it mean?

Last night, MPs debated Bill C-474 for one hour. Support for the Bill
was not strong enough to fast-track the Bill to debate in the
Agriculture Committee but the debate in the House of Commons will
continue – this is because the Liberal Party essentially spoke in
opposition to the Bill but left the door open to more debate. There
will be another hour of debate in April (or sooner) followed by a vote
on the Bill. If MPs vote for the Bill it will go to the Agriculture
Committee for study and amendments. If MPs vote against the Bill, the
Bill dies.  You can see CBAN’s unofficial notes from the debate at http://www.cban.ca/Take-Action/Act-Now/Bill-C-474-Debate-and-Results-Blog
You will see that the Liberal Party based their position on
incorrect information about GE flax and how the contamination crisis
happened. (We will send more info soon)

Why is Bill C-474 still in “second reading”?:  The Liberal Party is
not ready to commit enough support to Bill C-474. (Your action over
the next weeks could convince them.)
The Conservative Party is opposed to Bill C-474 – Conservative MP
David Anderson (Saskatchewan) called the Bill “anti-farmer” – he is
Assistant Agriculture Critic and is Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board.

You are encouraged to write your MP a second time to tell them you
were following the debate – CBAN will provide more information soon.

Your actions will continue to make a difference.  Here are the great
actions you have taken so far! :
2193 letters were sent to MPs through the CBAN website!
620 signatures were delivered to the constituency office of Michael
Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition, in Toronto.
154 signatures on petitions were presented to the office of Larry
Miller Conservative MP and Chair of the Agriculture Committee – Larry
Miller spoke against the Bill but took a more reasoned approach than
MP David Anderson who said that the Bill was “anti-farmer”
90 signatures were sent to Hon. John Duncan, Conservative MP Vancouver
Island North.
92 signatures were presented to Conservative Ontario MP Pierre
Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton), Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime
Minister
150 signatures went to the constituency office of Russ Hiebert,
Conservative MP in BC (South Surrey-White Rock).
Continue reading

Act Now! Support Bill C-474

Hey everyone, this is REALLY important! If this bill does not get passed, it could mean the end of organic foods in North America. Please take action on this. We don’t want a Canada that’s pure GMO. This is the tipping point for us!

Great GM Videos

Why GM Wheat in Canada must be stopped: CBC GMO video

There are other great videos on this page as well. Educate and enjoy!

You can take action on GE Wheat here: CBAN wheat

Ideas for Non-GMO campaigns and taking action!

The following is a list of ideas you can implement in your own ‘sphere of influence’. Find one that works for you, and go for it!

Every child should learn to cook 10 meals before leaving grade 12. Jamie Oliver

Have every farmer in your area of 50 miles sign a pledge to not grow GMO’s. David Andrew Waymire, Facebook friend

Hold local movie showings for free: Monsanto, Pesticides, and other issues.  Arzeena Hamir

Create ready-made letters for people to sign at movie showings and anywhere people group. Make it easy for people to write letters: have them sign it with full contact info. You stamp and mail it for them. Put these letters on a site somewhere. April Reeves

Go join every Non-GM facebook page. Make your voice heard. Get people moving. Trade ideas.  April Reeves PS: every word here is a link to a Facebook page on food and Non-GMO’s.

Look into ways to make laws and bylaws work in your favor. Can GE’s be considered a ‘nuisance’? Can you lobby for a ‘nuisance abatement ordinance’? Does your country have stiff regulations and laws against product safety? Can you use that law to go after Monsanto? (Canada’s Bill C-6 and C-51) AR

Join NPO’s. Your money goes toward their campaigns. Many NPO’s are all volunteers, so your dollar goes right into campaign work, not pockets.