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April 1, 2009
Genetically modified (GM) sugar beet could be planted in two weeks.

Ottawa – Chocolate Bunnies across Canada are hopping in panic this spring as the April planting of sugar beets in Alberta is just around the corner. The fate of Chocolate Bunnies could change forever if genetically modified (GM) sugar beets are planted in the next two weeks.

People who love Chocolate Bunnies and all sugary treats are appealing to the company Rogers Sugar/Lantic to reject GM sugar beet in their sugar products. (1) The company has thus far failed to respond to over 3000 emails and cards from people across Canada urging them to reject the GM sugar beet.

Lantic Inc. is the only Canadian sugar company that processes sugar beet (most of our sugar comes from cane sugar). Lantic is currently the only GM-Free sugar beet processing company in North America. Sugar beets are processed in only one place in Canada: the Rogers Sugar/Lantic plant in Taber, Alberta. Alberta farmers will be planting sugar beet in early April.

“We are so relieved that humans are coming to our defense,” said Milk Chocolate Bunny. “We always bring a smile to children at this time of year but if GM sugar beet is planted we will have to hide from the kids!”

The sugar beet is genetically engineered to be tolerant to Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. The GM technology is currently applied to white sugar beets that are used for processing into sugar, not to the red table beets that consumers can buy as produce for cooking and using at home.

“We are willing to sacrifice many of our kind in the next two weeks to help people get enough energy to send more letters. We think a national sugar rush could really help get consumers motivated,” said Bunny McYummy.

“We don’t want to be contaminated with GM sugar,” said Bunny with Crunchy Toffee Bits. “It would ruin our sweetness and make us an accessory to Monsanto, the largest seed company in the world and the developer of the GM beets.”

The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, a coalition of 18 groups, including Greenpeace, the Council of Canadians and the Society for a GE-Free B.C., has been encouraging Canadian sugar-lovers to write to Lantic Inc. “GM sugar will cause a lot of heartache for Canadians who want to avoid GM foods because sugar is a major ingredient in most processed foods and is important to people who bake, can and preserve,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network and admitted chocolate-lover. “It is not just Chocolate Bunnies that will be contaminated. All chocolate animals and shapes will be affected and the mood of consumers will sour.”
For more information: Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241 2267

(1) Rogers Sugar and Lantic brands are familiar consumer brands of refined sugar in Canada, last year the two merged into the one company Lantic Inc.