GMOs Back on the Agenda: Canada's Bill C-517

Editor's Note: Today we take pleasure in welcoming Lauren Carter to the writing team. Lauren lives in Ontario, Canada, has a wealth of writing experience and will be covering such issues as food, energy efficiency, sustainable travel and more.

If Canadian consumers have their way, Monsanto might have the short end of the straw this spring as Canadian politicians revisit an old debate.

By the luck of the draw, Bill C-517, calling for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods in Canada, is currently being considered in Parliament. The latest of several bills introduced into the House of Commons over the years, this latest plea for Canada to join other countries in the push against GMO foods remains a tender sprout that could still be mowed down.

Despite several polls showing that the majority of Canadians want to know what they’re eating, the government has so far refused to legislate labeling laws that would provide this information.

“Consumers and Canadians are very interested in food labeling and the importance of food labeling as it relates to information that helps them make their choices about food,” admits Member of Parliament Bruce Stanton, during a recording of the debate on the show Deconstructing Dinner, on Kootenay Co-Op Radio. But, insists Stanton in a follow-up interview on the show, Health Canada is sufficient to the task of ensuring that foods available to consumers are safe.

As the bill awaits another reading and a vote, several groups such as Greenpeace Canada and the Vancouver, B.C. publication The Tyee, are attempting to get the word out. But as they preach to the converted, many Canadians who have yet to be introduced to the subject will have to wait awhile. It seems the mainstream media – including Canada’s own Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – have yet to even mention this latest effort to allow us to make up our own minds about what we eat.

For those Canadians who would rather avoid GMO foods in our supermarkets, download a copy of Greenpeace’s How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Foods. And as the vote on this bill is still to come, make time to write your M.P.

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  • Posted on April 22, 2008. Listed in:

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