GE Free Comox Valley

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Monthly Archives: August 2017

GE Corn on Dyke farm in Courtenay 2017

Subject: Dyke corn fields 2017

 (  Letter  sent to the Editor of the Record Aug 7 ,2017 as yet unplublished)

Dear Editor,  

Once again our Courtenay estuary farmland is an image of abundance and plenty, the envy of all!  A big bouquet to Ducks Unlimited and its lessees who in 2016 started using this fertile land to grow barley, flax and grass.  But close by Ducks property, I see a field of corn growing without weeds and I have to wonder if this rich and fertile land, close to the sea, a feeding ground for migratory birds and an integral part of the sensitive estuary ecosystem, is being used to grow genetically engineered (GE) corn. 

GE corn has been genetically manipulated to tolerate the pesticide glyphosate, (aka Round-Up).   Spraying glyphosate over a field of GE corn will kill the weeds but not the corn.  But that’s not all glyphosate does.  Tests have found glyphosate to be damaging to aquatic and soil micro-organisms, frogs, bees and other wildlife.  In 2015, the World Health Organisation’s Cancer agency (IARC), identified glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen’.  Since then, many cities and states have taken action on behalf of health and environment: California listed glyphosate as a carcinogen; the EU which already tightly regulated glyphosate, banned Round-Up as an over-the-counter weed killer; Hamburg and Barcelona have banned spraying Round-Up in public parks. On Vancouver Island, the municipalities of Victoria, Esquimalt, and Saanich have also banned the “general use” of Roundup.  

In light of all the information, is it not time for the Comox Valley also, to review and redesign policies and practices around spraying glyphosate in urban areas to safeguard a healthy environment for the valley and our estuary?  Please look for this beautiful weed free corn field the next time you drive by the estuary and if you are concerned, write or phone our Courtenay policy makers to say that we, Comox Valley residents, want a new policy for spraying glyphosate in an urban environment. 

For more info on glyphosate: GMWatch.org 

Linda Cheu, 

Courtenay. 

 

 

Health Canada approves sale of genetically modified salmon for human consumption – National | Globalnews.ca

A genetically modified salmon has been approved for human consumption by Canadian food regulators, making it the first genetically modified animal to be allowed for sale at grocery stores in Canada.

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Thursday they have approved AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon after four years of testing saying the fish is as safe and nutritious as conventional salmon.

“GM foods are becoming more common every day and are part of the regular diets of Canadians,” the agency said in a statement. “GM foods that have been approved by Health Canada have been consumed in Canada for many years and are safe and nutritious.

AquAdvantage Salmon is developed by Massachusetts-based company AquaBounty and places a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon into the genome of Atlantic salmon, resulting in a salmon which grows faster and reaches market quicker.

The decision by Health Canada follows approval from a review from the U.S. Drug and Food Administration last year that approved the salmon for use.

Source: Health Canada approves sale of genetically modified salmon for human consumption – National | Globalnews.ca

GMO salmon spurs debate, but survey finds most Canadians don’t know what GMO entails – National | Globalnews.ca

GMO salmon spurs debate, but survey finds most Canadians don’t know what GMO entails
By Maham AbediNational Online Journalist,
Breaking News  Global News

Canadians are first to eat genetically modified salmon-

Genetically modified salmon is now being sold in Canada, which has some people concerned about food labelling at grocery stores.

The sale of GMO salmon was approved by Health Canada in May 2016.

Five tonnes have been sold in the country since then, according to a report from AquaBounty, the U.S.-based company that produces the fish.

Source: GMO salmon spurs debate, but survey finds most Canadians don’t know what GMO entails – National | Globalnews.ca

Sobeys joins the GMO Free club !!

Wonderful news!!

Sobeys will not carry  GMO apple, fish and Potato on their shelves.!! Hurray Hurray!!

Despite the shocking news that unlabelled GM salmon is now for sale in Canada, a personal communication from Sobeys would appear to offer some positive reassurance.

In response to a customer query about GM salmon, potatoes and apples,Keri Scobie, Director, Communications-Western Canada, Sobeys Inc,states, “…we have no plans to add these genetically modified products to our assortment”.  See letter below.
GM products have been in our grocery carts for the last decade in the form of ingredients in processed food, but GM salmon, potatoes and apples are the first whole foods to be produced for direct human consumption. A government motion for mandatory labelling was voted down in May 2017 so consumers must campaign for themselves with regard to these products.
Currently only Costco and IGA Quebec  have an official position to not carry GM whole foods. The letter from Sobeys is a hopeful sign that they will follow suit.

Sobey's letter 2017 - Redact-1

Say NO to GM/GE Salmon

Is GM Salmon Coming Soon to Your Dinner Table??

Let’s Make GMO Labelling Mandatory.

Source: Savoir OGM

Sign the Petition NOW

Canadians unknowingly eating GM salmon | CBAN

Canadians unknowingly eating GM salmon
Ottawa – August 7, 2017 –

AquaBounty revealed on August 4, in its quarterly financial results, that it has sold approximately five tonnes of genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) Atlantic salmon fillets in Canada.(1)

This is the world’s first sale of GM fish for human consumption and has occurred without GM product labelling for Canadian consumers.

“No one except AquaBounty knows where the GM salmon are,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN). “The company did not disclose where the GM salmon fillets were sold or for what purpose, and we’re shocked to discover that they’ve entered the market at this time.

”Without mandatory labeling in Canada, CBAN works to track GM foods to keep Canadians informed.

“The immediate remedy is for grocery stores to commit to keeping GM salmon out,” said Sharratt.  So far, two grocery companies in Canada have published statements online responding to consumer concerns over GM salmon: IGA Quebec states that it only orders non-GM salmon, and Costco’s website states that it does not intend to sell it.(2)

“We clearly need mandatory labelling of all GM foods,” said Thibault Rehn of the Quebec network Vigilance OGM, a member group of CBAN.

There is no federal government tracking of GM products in the market and Members of Parliament voted down a Private Members Bill for mandatory GM food labelling in May.  GM salmon is approved for human consumption in the US and Canada, but there is a import ban in the US until labelling guidelines are published.

“When it comes to GM foods, Canadian consumers are shopping blind,” said Sharratt.

Source: Canadians unknowingly eating GM salmon | CBAN

Canadians are first to eat genetically modified salmon | Watch News Videos Online

Canadians are first to eat genetically modified salmon.  The world’s first sale of genetically modified fish has happened, right here in Canada. The salmon is hitting grocery store shelves. But as Aaron McArthur reports, you might not know if you’ve purchased it.  GMO salmon spurs debate, but survey finds most Canadians don’t know what GMO entails.

Source: Canadians are first to eat genetically modified salmon | Watch News Videos Online

New ‘Monsanto Papers’ Add To Questions Of Regulatory Collusion, Scientific Mischief | HuffPost

Canadians unknowingly eating GM Salmon !!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Canadians unknowingly eating GM salmon

Ottawa – August 7, 2017 – AquaBounty revealed on August 4, in its quarterly financial results, that it has sold approximately five tonnes of genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) Atlantic salmon fillets in Canada.(1) This is the world’s first sale of GM fish for human consumption and has occurred without GM product labelling for Canadian consumers.

“No one except AquaBounty knows where the GM salmon are,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN). “The company did not disclose where the GM salmon fillets were sold or for what purpose, and we’re shocked to discover that they’ve entered the market at this time.”

Without mandatory labeling in Canada, CBAN works to track GM foods to keep Canadians informed.

“The immediate remedy is for grocery stores to commit to keeping GM salmon out,” said Sharratt. So far, two grocery companies in Canada have published statements online responding to consumer concerns over GM salmon: IGA Quebec states that it only orders non-GM salmon, and Costco’s website states that it does not intend to sell it.(2)

“We clearly need mandatory labelling of all GM foods,” said Thibault Rehn of the Quebec network Vigilance OGM, a member group of CBAN.

There is no federal government tracking of GM products in the market and Members of Parliament voted down a Private Members Bill for mandatory GM food labelling in May. GM salmon is approved for human consumption in the US and Canada, but there is a import ban in the US until labelling guidelines are published.

“When it comes to GM foods, Canadian consumers are shopping blind,” said Sharratt.

-30-

Exposed: Monsanto copying the Tobacco tactics.

Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted

 
Documents released in US cancer litigation show Monsanto’s desperate attempts to suppress a study that showed adverse effects of Roundup herbicide – and that the editor of the journal that retracted the study had a contractual relationship with the company. Claire Robinson reports

Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.

The study, led by Prof GE Séralini, showed that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide had toxic effects on rats over a long-term period, including serious liver and kidney damage. Additional observations of increased tumour rates in treated rats would need to be confirmed in a larger-scale carcinogenicity study. 

The newly released documents show that throughout the retraction campaign, Monsanto tried to cover its tracks to hide its involvement. Instead Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to orchestrating a “third party expert” campaign in which scientists who were apparently independent of Monsanto would bombard the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), A. Wallace Hayes, with letters demanding that he retract the study.

Use of “third party experts” is a classic public relations tactic perfected by the tobacco industry. It consists of putting industry-friendly messages into the mouths of supposedly “independent” experts, since no one would believe industry attempts to defend its own products. Back in 2012, GMWatch founder Jonathan Matthews exposed the industry links of the supposedly independent scientists who lobbied the journal editor to retract the Séralini paper. Now we have first-hand proof of Monsanto’s direct involvement.

In one document, Saltmiras reviews his own achievements within the company, boasting that he “Successfully facilitated numerous third party expert letters to the editor which were subsequently published, reflecting the numerous significant deficiencies, poor study design, biased reporting and selective statistics employed by Séralini. In addition, coauthored the Monsanto letter to the editor with [Monsanto employees] Dan Goldstein and Bruce Hammond.”

Saltmiras further writes of how “Throughout the late 2012 Séralini rat cancer publication and media campaign, I leveraged my relationship [with] the Editor i[n] Chief of the publishing journal… and was the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal.”

Another Monsanto employee, Eric Sachs, writes in an email about his efforts to galvanize scientists in the letter-writing campaign. Sachs refers to Bruce Chassy, a scientist who runs the pro-GMO Academics Review website. Sachs writes: “I talked to Bruce Chassy and he will send his letter to Wally Hayes directly and notify other scientists that have sent letters to do the same. He understands the urgency… I remain adamant that Monsanto must not be put in the position of providing the critical analysis that leads the editors to retract the paper.”

In response to Monsanto’s request, Chassy urged Hayes to retract the Séralini paper: “My intent was to urge you to roll back the clock, retract the paper, and restart the review process.”

Chassy was also the first signatory of a petition demanding the retraction of the Séralini study and the co-author of a Forbes article accusing Séralini of fraud. In neither document does Chassy declare any link with Monsanto. But in 2016 he was exposed as having taken over $57,000 over less than two years from Monsanto to travel, write and speak about GMOs. 

Sachs is keen to ensure that Monsanto is not publicly seen as attempting to get the paper retracted, even though that is precisely what it is doing. Sachs writes to Monsanto scientist William Heydens: “There is a difference between defending science and participating in a formal process to retract a publication that challenges the safety of our products. We should not provide ammunition for Séralini, GM critics and the media to charge that Monsanto used its might to get this paper retracted. The information that we provided clearly establishes the deficiencies in the study as reported and makes a strong case that the paper should not have passed peer review.”

Read More at GM Watch.org Aug 2,2017 News