GMO-free news from Canada

02.09.2021 |

Stop Corporate self-regulation of GMOs

Action brief

What’s happening?

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

are proposing new “regulatory guidance” which would exempt many new genetically engineered foods and seeds (genetically modified organisms or GMOs) from government safety assessments. Instead, product developers themselves would assess food and environmental safety, with no government oversight. These exemptions would apply to many new genetically engineered foods and seeds that have no foreign DNA (likely produced by gene editing techniques).

23.08.2021 |

Election 2021 -Take Action: Ask your candidates on GMOs

Do you support mandatory government safety assessments for all genetically engineered food and seeds? If elected, would you ensure that all genetically engineered foods and seeds are regulated?

Tell your candidate that your vote is for transparency and independent science.

New Resource! Click here for a one-page background to email or hand to your candidate, or use it as background for yourself when you ask questions in all-candidates debates.

More updates and materials on this issue are posted at

21.07.2021 |


The CFIA’s proposed new regulatory guidance would exempt many new genetically engineered seeds from government environmental risk assessment.

Public consultation DEADLINE: September 16, 2021

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has launched a public consultation on a proposal to exempt many new genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) plants from government regulation.

10.06.2021 |

Consistent, accessible, and timely information is necessary to ensure transparency

Bioceres announced Canadian approval of its HB4 soy via a press release on June 1st. As of June 10, notice of approvals by Health Canada and the CFIA do not appear on the respective websites. This minimal information should be posted simultaneously with notification of approvals sent to product developers.

The company Bioceres is also interested in commercializing their HB4 technology in wheat. As you are aware, the commercialization of genetically engineered wheat is of great concern to many farmers, agri-food and civil society organizations, and members of the public. If government notification of approval decisions does not occur before or simultaneously with notification to product developers, it is possible that Canadian farmers and other members of the public could find out about a first Canadian approval of a genetically engineered wheat from a company such as Bioceres rather than from the government. Without information immediately available from the regulatory departments, there would be considerable confusion, mistrust and, potentially, market harm. This scenario highlights the need for reliable, timely public notifications.

In our view, providing notifications of regulatory decisions to product developers before notifying the public results in a lack of transparency and suggests that the departments consider this information to be less important for the public.

31.03.2021 |

Christopher Walken Is Taking on Monsanto in 'Percy Vs Goliath' Trailer

Percy Vs Goliath follows the true story of a small-town farmer who is sued by Monsanto for allegedly using their patented seeds

Christopher Walken's newest film is tackling an industry giant.

In a PEOPLE exclusive look at the first trailer for Percy Vs Goliath, the 77-year-old actor stars as Percy Schmeiser in the real-life story of a small-town farmer who is sued by the Monsanto Company for allegedly using its patented seeds.

30.03.2021 |

Food security? The real stakeholders are food providers, workers, and the food-insecure

Why now for a Long Food Movement? What's the controversy over tech in food systems anyway? And how can social movements possibly alter the course of "agribusiness-as-usual" by 2045?

To mark the launch of the Long Food Movement report, we asked lead author Pat Mooney (ETC Group and IPES-Food) for his take on who the real stakeholders are when it comes to the world's food security.

This report calls for a ‘Long Food Movement’. But why are our food systems in need of such a radical overhaul?

23.03.2021 |

Gene Editing: Urgent Action Alert

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) appear ready to propose removing regulation for some genetically modified organisms (GMOs). For many months, Health Canada has been developing new draft guidance on how regulators will assess the risks of GMOs (See details below). The proposals could be published any day now. Documents show that these proposals could exempt some genetically engineered foods and crop plants from regulation, particularly those products of certain genome editing or gene editing techniques. Health Canada is talking about allowing companies to make their own safety determinations for some of these GMOs.

11.03.2021 |

Explainer: Everything you need to know about Canada's new laws for GMOs and gene editing

Canada is changing its risk assessment policy for genetically modified plants and food products sold at home and overseas. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that contain foreign DNA will still be subject to government regulatory oversight. However, a new category of GMOs — gene-edited organisms that do not contain foreign DNA — will be exempt from safety assessments by Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). To date, these are mostly crops like corn that have been modified to enhance a specific, naturally occurring characteristic, such as high corn starch content.

Gene-editing techniques are also common in medicine, including in vaccines like the AstraZeneca COVID-19 inoculation.

17.12.2020 |

Four of Canada’s Five Major Grocery Chains Fail Transparency Test on GMOs

Sutton and Halifax, December 17, 2020: A new report released today ranks Canada’s major grocery retailers for their transparency on sales of genetically modified (GM) whole foods: fruits and vegetables, and the GM salmon. Out of Canada’s five major grocery chains, only Quebec/Ontario chain Metro provided clear answers for consumers.

“Without mandatory GM food labelling, grocery stores need to step up to provide information to customers.” said Thibault Rehn of Quebec network Vigilance OGM.

Vigilance OGM and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) have co-published retailer responses to their questionnaire, in a report that provides other basic information for consumers about GM foods. The questionnaire focused on whole foods, asking if the major grocery chains were selling, or going to sell, the GM salmon and GM produce: GM apples, GM potatoes and GM sweetcorn. The report is “GMOs in your grocery store: Ranking company transparency”.

20.08.2020 |

Podcast #4: What is Technology?

And why do we need technology assessment? An interview with Jim Thomas

In this episode, ETC Co-Executive Director Jim Thomas explains how ETC understands technology, "Mooney's Law," and the utility of technology assessments for social movements. The episode is hosted by Zahra Moloo.