A document leaked to the Canada-headquartered advocacy organisation ETC Group revealed that Canada promoted "terminator" technology: genetically engineered (GE) seeds designed to grow crops which can't reproduce. These "suicide seeds," designed solely to protect the patents and profits of multinational corporations, are currently forbidden from being planted outside the lab. The secret instructions to Canada's delegation: block consensus on any other option than testing these seeds in the wild.
Canada launched "a devastating kick in the stomach to the world's most vulnerable farmers - the 1.4 billion people who depend on farm saved seed," said ETC Group Executive Director Pat Mooney. "The Canadian government is doing the dirty work for the multinational gene giants and the US government. Even Monsanto wasn't prepared to be this upfront and nasty."
Public outrage greeted "suicide seeds" when they were introduced in 1988. Monsanto, the company which developed the technology, was forced to back down when activists and scientists around the world warned of possible wild crop sterilisation through contamination.
We're concerned that this is an attempt by at least one person within at least one department of the Canadian government to use Canada's political leverage within a relatively unknown scientific and technical committee in order to open the door to Terminator technology's release into the wild.
The Canadian Government Loves Genetic Modification
Earlier this year, despite the fact that 233 consumer and farmer groups in 26 countries have joined the "Definitive Global Rejection of GM Wheat", Canadian MPs voted to reject stronger export rules for crops of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
While there has been lesser resistance to GMO crops, the National Farmers Union -- which is against GMO foods -- pointed out that Canadian farmers' largest market potential is in Europe, which is basically in opposition to the importatoin and consumption of genetically engineered foods.
Because Canada's labeling law do not require disclosure of genetically modified content, Canadian consumers in fact have been using and eating genetically modified food for about 10 years, mostly corn, soya and canola.
Environment Canada also announced approval of the strain known as "enviropigs". Genetically modified animals have been created in labs for decades, however their introduction into the conventional food supply has only been accepted (with hesitation) in the last few years in Canada. GM animals present a health hazardous approach to revealing the interplay of what could be dangerous gene expression of a living organism. It's akin to playing roulette with the health of Canadians.
"Canadian farmers have just lost their export sales to Europe and other markets because of GM flax contamination from a GM variety deregistered a decade ago and never even sold. Our current experience with GM flax contamination clearly illustrates the crippling losses Canadian farmers will suffer if GM wheat is introduced," said Terry Boehm, a flax and wheat farmer and President of the National Farmers Union in Canada. "Flax is yet another warning that once a GM crop is introduced, contamination is inevitable."
Who's Behind This In The Political Arena?
Terminator technology takes a massive risk with our food supply, puts poor farmers into a near-servitude relationship with seed salesmen, and benefits only the multinational corporations like Monsanto which promote it.
So who is really behind the Canadian move? Is this something that is being done in the name of Canadian citizens?
Is it official Canadian government policy?
Is Monsanto or any other genetic engineering company in any way providing Canadian officials incentives to promote their technology?
It's time to stand up for Canadians and denounce all imports and exports of genetically modified foods and ban any company that uses GM foods in Canada.