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Genetically Modified Wheat Genetically engineered wheat GM wheat GE wheat monsanto GMO Monsanto biotech
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Genetically Engineered Wheat Article

All-Out Attack on Genetically Engineered Wheat Launched Council of Canadians

9jan03 OTTAWA, ONTARIO - Concerned with the increasing pressure mounted by the biotechnology industry on the federal government, the Council of Canadians is launching an all-out attack to raise awareness regarding genetically engineered wheat. The last few weeks have been fertile in biotechnology-related events. First, Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, asking that the Federal Court decision to uphold his guilty verdict in the case opposing him to Monsanto for alleged violation of patent rights on GE canola.

Then, the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate filed a $14-million class action suit against Monsanto and Aventis as a result of the large degree of crop contamination by GE canola. More recently, Monsanto Canada, a biotechnology company, applied to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for approval of the environmental release of genetically engineered wheat. An application has also been filed at the same time to U.S. regulators. Part of these efforts will be a 12-city tour of the Canadian Prairies this winter to raise awareness on the consequences of allowing GE wheat to grow in the country.

The launch of the tour is currently set for February 27, in Winnipeg. Spearheaded by the Council of Canadians, the tour will be co-organised by the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate, the National Farmers' Union and the Alberta-based Parkland Institute. "Approving GE wheat, for example, would have consequences that are not limited to health safety concerns," says Nad�ge Adam, biotechnology campaigner for the 100,000-member Council of Canadians. "The farmers traditional right to reuse part of the crop to seed the following year is also in jeopardy, as this practice would infringe the patent. And when you think you can go around this problem by switching back to natural seeds, you are faced with a contamination problem that is impossible to contain." We warned this would be happening with other crops such as canola, and it happened.

Why the Canadian government would openly consider opening our wheat crops to such risks is beyond me. There is absolutely no evidence that GE crops have higher yields and are in any way beneficial for farmers. However, the potential for contamination is so high that the future of organic farming would be truly threatened by the release of GE wheat in the farming community" Back in 1999, the Council of Canadians was part of a multi-sectoral effort that won a hard-fought and long battle against Monsanto's attempt to have Health Canada approve the Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) [also known as rBGH and rBST] that would have found its way through the milk supply consumed by Canadians.

 
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