GMO-free news from Canada

21.05.2014 |

Sale of controversial GMO seed delayed after protests across Canada

MONTREAL — A tiny, genetically modified seed is pitting Quebec farmers against the biotech industry.

A GM version of alfalfa, a staple in livestock feed, was supposed to be launched in Canada this year. The product, produced with technology by Monsanto, the world’s largest seed-and-chemical company, has already been approved by the federal government. But after protests across the country, farmers learned in March that the controversial seed won’t be here for at least another year. (.....) The Quebec Federation of Milk Producers, the Quebec Federation of Organic Agriculture, the Filière biologique du Québec and the UPA recently declared that they “strongly deplore” the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s approval of GM alfalfa varieties in April 2013. The widespread resistance among farmers and seed companies is one reason that the seed won’t be released this year, says Victor Lefebvre, Quebec director of Pickseed, a company that had planned to sell GM alfalfa.

24.09.2013 |

Canada: British Columbia vote to ban GE plants and food

Organic-food lovers scored a win at the expense of massive agriculture corporations – and perhaps B.C. farmers – at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference on Thursday.

31.07.2013 |

Canada: GMO facts at a glance

GMOs in Canada have been allowed since the mid 1990s. Canada is one of the top-five producers of GMO crops in the world. The major GM crops produced in Canada include canola, corn, soy, and to a lesser extent, sugar beet. Canada also imports GM varieties of cottonseed oil, papaya, and squash, among others.

26.07.2013 |

Canada geese may have spread GM wheat seeds

Canada geese may have spread viable seeds of genetically modified wheat grown at the Central Experimental Farm, documents from Agriculture Canada show. The odds aren’t high, the department says.

15.05.2013 |

A million acres of glyphosate-resistant weeds in Canada?

More than one million acres of Canadian farmland have glyphosate-resistant weeds growing on them, including 43,000 in Manitoba, according to an online survey of 2,028 farmers conducted by Stratus Agri-Marketing Inc. based in Guelph, Ont. The shockingly high Canadian numbers met with skepticism from some experts who suggest farmers might be mistaking hard-to-kill weeds with glyphosate resistance. But others say the farmers are probably right. Even though there hasn’t been a single documented case of a glyphosate-resistant weed in Manitoba, the 281 Manitoba farmers surveyed said they believe there’s glyphosate-resistant kochia on 23,000 acres in this province.

10.05.2013 |

Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (Canada) bans GMO food and seeds

If the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities gets its way, genetically modified crops will no longer be welcome on Island soil. The collective of regional politicians voted Sunday to ban GMO food and seeds. The motion, put forth by Metchosin Coun. Moralea Milne, passed by an overwhelming margin. [...] Although she’s “very proud” of the motion, Milne admits that it’s mostly a symbolic gesture. AVICC will move the motion to the Union of B.C. Municipalities, but it is not likely to garner much traction.

22.11.2012 |

Saanich Council (British Colombia, Canada) bans use of genetically modified seeds

Saanich council took a united stance Monday night in opposing the use of genetically modified seed crops in the municipality. [...] “The councillors are not trained in the science, and they do not have the ability to differentiate between science and the pseudo-science,” said Robert Wager, who teaches at Vancouver Island University and has a background in biochemistry and molecular biology. [...] He says genetically modified crops that are drought and frost tolerant, and resistant to viruses and fungal infections. “There is so much research out there that rebuts any of the pseudo-scientific information (that informed council’s decision),” Wager said. [...] Council supported the motion 9-0 to oppose genetically modified seeds crops and write letters encouraging mandatory GMO labelling.

09.07.2012 |

Richmond (Canada) resists pitch from CropLife Canada, passes ban on GE crops

Richmond council stuck to its guns, ratifying its ban on genetically modified plants and crops. Biotech lobby group CropLife Canada sent a representative to speak to council before the vote. Several hundred people turned out for the meeting, many of them carrying signs opposing genetically modified organisms — popularly known as GMOs or GE crops — and calling for labelling of foods with GE ingredients. [...] “I don’t feel that they consulted all the experts that they could have to get a balanced point of view,” [CropLife spokeswoman Janice Tranberg] said after the meeting.

29.05.2012 |

Hundreds back Richmond (Canada) council resolution banning GM crops

Supporters of a council resolution banning genetically modified crops packed city hall Monday calling the practise of growing such foods “immoral” and “dangerous.” “The motivation of the companies that create this is profit, which is fine except that it’s not for the benefit of the community,” said Sandra Bourque, a former school trustee, one of dozens of speakers at the council meeting. Opponents to the crops turned out by the bushel after getting wind that CropLife Canada was set to delegate to city council before its final vote. That vote, which took place about three hours after the meeting started, was unanimous.

06.10.2011 |

Canadian GM canola has escaped into wilds of North Dakota (USA)

Genetically modified canola has escaped from the farm and is thriving in the wild across North Dakota, according to a study that indicates there are plenty of novel man-made genes crossing the Canada-U.S. border. GM canola was found growing everywhere from ditches to parking lots, the scientists report, with some of the highest densities along a trucking route into Canada. [...] At almost half of the 634 stops they found genetically modified canola. At some locations there were thousands of GM plants growing. [...] Perhaps most significant, they said, is the fact that two of plants had combinations of herbicide resistance that had not been developed commercially. “That suggests to us there is breeding going on, either in the field or in these roadside populations, to create new combinations of traits,” said Sagers. “In terms of evolutionary biology it’s pretty amazing.”