Articles & Editorials
A radical shift in Canada’s policy over regulating the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods would allow a level of GM contamination in grain imports to Canada. The policy would permit a “low level presence” of some GM foods that have not been approved by Health Canada. This would mean that Canada’s regulation of GM foods would no longer be applied to all the GM foods that Canadians eat. (October 2015)
A French study on the safety of a genetically modified corn has just been republished. This seemingly ordinary event is globally significant. The study and the public fight over it exposes an ugly and dangerous reality in the regulation of GM foods across the world: The GM foods we are eating have not been subjected to long-term animal feeding trials. (2014)
“We cannot allow the technophobes and Luddites to impede this work. We will need every biotech available,” said Henry Clifford, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at AquaBounty, the company that wants approval to sell its GM salmon for fish farming. Is Clifford right? (2013)
Be Warned: If Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Alfalfa is commercialized, the flow of genes and traits from GM to non-GM alfalfa will be inevitable and irreversible.
Alfalfa is an out-crossing, perennial plant that is pollinated by insects. These characteristics make it particularly susceptible to gene flow from one plant to another. (2013)
Its easy to make big promises for the future of this technology but at what point do we conclude that the GM experiment has failed and that the promised miracle crops are not going to materialize? The reality is that GM failed before it was even commercialized. Without farmer and public consultation, the technology was doomed to be misapplied by corporations to suit their needs rather than the needs of farmers and consumers. (2013)
Referring to the technology that silenced the genes responsible for the browning process in the apple, Keller says, “silencing does not involve the insertion of genes of a different species into the apple plant. Rather, existing genes responsible for browning within the plant are switched off.” This description is presumably written to calm consumer nerves but is both factually incorrect and misleading. (Letter to the Editor, July 2012)
It is supremely ironic, and gravely tragic, that OMAFRA crop specialist Peter Johnson is spreading false information about genetically modified Vitamin A “Golden Rice” in an article titled “Countering GMO Misinformation”. Golden Rice is not ready for the market and yet Johnson told an audience of farmers that groups such as Greenpeace are responsible for keeping it from being used. Most seriously, Johnson alleges that Greenpeace is responsible for the continued misery of serious illnesses and deaths caused by Vitamin A deficiency. This is a misrepresentation of reality and a distasteful charge. (Letter to the Editor, 2012)
Generally, if our food kills living organisms, it is viewed as a negative. For Monsanto, however, this feature is a great new selling point. New genetically engineered (also called genetically modified or GM) sweet corn designed to kill insect pests is now being harvested across Canada. Of course, without labelling, we need to conduct our own investigations to learn where GM sweet corn is being sold.