Regroupement québécois contre les OGM (RQcOGM)
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Ottawa, Montréal et Québec, April 30, 2010 – A large coalition of consumer, farmer and environmental groups are calling on the Federal Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, to stop aligning Canada’s positions with those of the U.S. at international negotiations on GM food labeling. Joint actions with the U.S. government threaten to compromise the right of countries to establish labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.
Next week, May 3-7, the UN Codex Commission on Food Labeling will meet in Quebec City to negotiate recommendations for GM food labeling. The adoption of recommendations in Codex could permit countries to establish labeling regimes without the threat of challenge via the World Trade Organization.
Though Canada has not yet released its official position, as in the past it seems to be similar to that of the U.S., which is actually trying to stop the negotiations from continuing.
These delaying tactics are unacceptable, the more so because they are based on false arguments such as an insistence that there is no difference between GM food and food produced using conventional methods, and that the truth of GM labels cannot be verified. Canada and the U.S. appear to be negotiating in bad faith and are among the last countries resisting GM labeling.
The groups demand that the Minister give instructions to the Canadian government delegation to support a position that recognizes the rights of all countries to adopt rules on GM foods labeling.
Citizens are invited to participate in an internet-based letter campaign.
Ariane Chenard and Charles Tanguay, from l’Union des consommateurs, will be members of the Canadian delegation in Quebec as Observers.
Lucy Sharratt, CBAN – 613 241-2267 poste 6; Charles Tanguay, Union des consommateurs – 514 743-0419; Benoît Girouard, Union paysanne – 450 495-1910; Éric Darier, Greenpeace – 514 605-6497; Michel Bélanger, Nature Québec – 514 844-3037; Hélène Cornellier, Afeas – 514 791-9023; Stéphane Groleau, AmiEs de la Terre de Québec – 418 524-2744; André Nault, AmiEs de la Terre de l’Estrie – 819 562-4413; Richard Favreau, Avenue Bio de l’Est – 418 736-5947; François Décary-Gilardeau, Option consommateurs – 514 598-0620 poste 227