Minority government needs to respect majority's opinion - GMOs: Let us choose, M. Charest!



    MONTREAL, March 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Greenpeace this morning dumped five
tons of corn in front of the office of the Quebec Liberal Party, to insist
mandatory labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Mandatory
labelling has consistently been supported by a majority of Quebecers, and with
the first minority government since the 1800s, Greenpeace said it's time the
National Assembly listened.
    "Greenpeace wants no more electoral games," said Eric Darier, a
Greenpeace genetic engineering campaigner. "We've waited four years since
Mr. Charest's last broken promises of 2003 and the election campaign. With a
minority government elected, the majority shouldn't have to wait
anymore-whether Jean Charest wants to dodge our right to know or not. Polls
indicate that a large majority of Quebecers are united in their desire for
mandatory labelling of GMOs and in their right to choose."
    Greenpeace took the message directly to the party Quebecers chose to lead
the minority National Assembly, and which has a duty to listen to all
Quebecers. "It's time for our government to bring forward the mandatory
labelling legislation that Quebecers want and see if our National Assembly
will pass it," said Darier. "Indeed, we are asking that the new government
tell us if this five tons of corn contains GMOs authorized in Canada. And if
Monsanto's corn, Mon863, which a recent study says had potentially dangerous
health effects, is one of them?
    "If the government won't tell us, without labels, how will we know," he
asked, pointing to polls that say 79 to 95 per cent of people support
mandatory labelling.
    On March 17, Greenpeace published an economic study on the costs of
mandatory labelling, which the government hid for several months. This study,
received last October but never published, laid out the economic costs of
labelling-and showed they were not nearly as high as what industry claimed.
Greenpeace and other groups analyzed the study and made concrete solutions to
let Quebec practically move ahead. Darier urged Charest to move forward now
the facts are clear.
    "Other provincial governments can't remain inactive on the labelling of
GMOs, either, now we know the costs are so low and the dangers of GMOs are so
serious," said Josh Brandon, genetic engineering campaigner for Greenpeace in
Vancouver. "Across Canada, public opinion will soon force governments to
support mandatory labelling legislation. Particularly in BC, where polls show
a majority intend to vote for candidates that will bring in labelling."




For further information:

For further information: Jocelyn Desjardins, Greenpeace communications,
(514) 212-5749


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