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Election 2021


Take Action: Ask your candidates

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

What’s happening?

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are proposing to exempt many new genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) foods and plants from government safety assessments and government oversight.

The departments are consulting on proposals to exempt genetically engineered plants that have no foreign DNA – many of which would be produced through the new genetic engineering techniques of genome editing, also called gene editing – from regulation. Instead, product developers would determine the food safety and environmental risk of their own genetically modified organisms (GMOs), without any government oversight.

The proposals would mean unregulated, possibly some unreported, genetically engineered gene-edited foods and seeds on the market.

  • Health Canada and the CFIA are proposing to surrender their regulatory authority over many new genetically engineered foods and seeds.
  • Health Canada and the CFIA would have no ability to require information from product developers about these unregulated GMOs – they could be released without any reporting to the government.
  • There is an inherent conflict of interest in product developers determining if regulations apply to their own products, and in determining their safety.
  • All products of genetic engineering, including those with no foreign DNA (produced through the new genetic engineering techniques of gene editing) should be subject to government safety assessments.
  • The proposals from do not reflect the scientific findings which show that gene editing can result in a range of possible unintended effects that could impact food and environmental safety.
  • The government would be asking Canadians to accept corporate GMO safety assurances: to accept unseen corporate safety assessments and corporate science, without any government checks.
  • Canadians rely on Health Canada and the CFIA to be independent regulators of genetically engineered products, to ensure food and environmental safety.
  • Implementing the proposed guidance would undermine public trust.

More information:

Updates & info on the proposals/consultations
Introduction to Genome Editing
Introduction to Genetic Engineering: What are GMOs?