By Lucy Sharratt
The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network provides another view on GM bill proposal
Thursday April 1 next debate with oral vote, official vote April 14
Bill C-474 is not, as Rick White of the Canadian Canola Growers Association argued in this space March 18, a “significant threat to the future competitiveness of our industry.” The issue here is not the future of canola but of other crops that don’t incorporate genetically modified traits.
The threat to competitiveness in these other industries comes from GM crops themselves if we don’t start considering the reality in our export markets.
Bill C-474 would 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 responds to the fact that if GM crops are commercially released in Canada but are not also approved for safety in our export markets, farmers will lose those markets.
The global reality is that GM is controversial. This controversy is not going away and directly impacts the state of our export markets. The controversy over GM translates into the undeniable fact that applying GM technology to some crops can severely damage those industries. We have the unfortunate evidence of Canadian flax.
In last week’s House of Commons debate over Bill C-474, sponsor Alex Atamanenko, an NDP MP, spoke to the fact that GM flax was taken off the market at the behest of flax farmers precisely to protect export markets.
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