Federal elections - Call for a moratorium on GE crops and foods



    OTTAWA, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - A broad coalition of civil society groups
is calling on all candidates and Parties in the federal election to support an
immediate moratorium on all new genetically engineered (GE) crops and food
approvals until the government's procedures for GE risk assessment have be
reviewed and strengthened to meet strict international and scientific
standards.
    The coalition, coordinated by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
(CBAN), has made this call for action on the same day as the National Film
Board releases the DVD version of the controversial documentary: The World
According to Monsanto (1). The filmmaker, Marie-Monique Robin, will be
visiting Canada for the occasion and will be attending a public screening of
the documentary in Ottawa tomorrow (2).
    "Nobody can remain undisturbed after watching the documentary The World
According to Monsanto," said Lucy Sharratt, CBAN coordinator. "The film
documents the history of Monsanto, the global leader in genetically engineered
seeds and one of the most controversial companies in the world. The film shows
the devasting impacts of GE crops around the world, one of the most relevant
issues of our time."
    "After watching this documentary, everyone will understand how Monsanto
managed to get governments to authorize GE crops and foods without supplying
public, independent and peer-reviewed scientific proof of their safety," said
Josh Brandon, Greenpeace agriculture campaigner. "Canada was wise to say no to
Monsanto's GE Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) in 1999 and the next government
should follow suit and adopt a moratorium on GE crops and foods."
    Canada and the U.S. are currently the only two countries in the developed
world that refuse to impose mandatory labeling of GE food. "Monsanto's
excessive influence in Ottawa explains why the Harper government and a
majority of MPs voted against Bill C-517 last May that would have labeled GE
foods and given Canadians the right to know ," said Tony Beck, steering
committee member with the Society for a GE Free B.C..
    The coalition urges citizens to contact their local candidates for the
October 14 Federal election and demand that they support an immediate
moratorium on all new genetically engineered (GE) crops and foods.
    "Monsanto's GE crops like soya, canola and corn increase farmers
dependency on Monsanto's Roundup herbicide," said Colleen Ross, Women's
President of the National Farmers Union. "Harper's attack on the farmers'
controlled Canadian Wheat Board would give foreign multinational companies the
power to force Canada to adopt GE wheat."


    Notes
    (1) DVD copies of The World According to Monsanto are available at video
    stores (Blockbuster, Superclub Videotron, etc.) and online at:
    http://www.archambault.ca/store/Product.asp?mscssid=&sku=002218715&type=2
.
    (2) September 17 4pm to 7pm in the Alumni Auditorium, University Centre,
    University of Ottawa, September 18, 7-10 pm at UQAM in Montreal,
    room DSR-51, pavillon J-A DeSève, 320 Ste-Catherine est
    (3) List of MPs voting record on C-517 available at:
    http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/ge/latest-developments/
    c-517-how-they-voted

    For request for media interview with Ms. Robin, please call +514 605-6497




For further information:

For further information: Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, CBAN, (613)
241-2267; Josh Brandon, Agriculture campaigner, Greenpeace, (604) 721-7493;
Colleen Ross, Women's President, National Farmers Union, (613) 213-1522; Tony
Beck, Steering Committee Member, Society for a GE Free BC, (604) 980-3916


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