GE Free Comox Valley

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Monthly Archives: January 2018

CBAN ‘s data used by USDA report

The US Dept of Agriculture has released its report on biotechnology in Canada. The report does three things:

1. Showcase how important the work of CBAN is:

  • (Under section on GE animals) “Canada has groups lobbying the government against GE animals, most notable is the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network which has organic and ecological farming groups, environmental groups, and international anti-GE groups amongst its members.”
  • “Currently major retail grocery chains such as Metro, IGA, and Provigo have stated that they will not be selling GE products at their seafood counters, while Costco, Walmart, and Loblaws have indicated they currently have no plans to sell GE seafood when questioned about retail sales of AquAdvantage Salmon.”
  • The USDA mentions the sales of GM fish to “Quebec and/or Ontario” and this is not sourced but it is from CBAN’s research.

2. Provide some new info on GE plantings such as:

  • GE soybean area is up 44% this year from last year due to expansion of soybean plantings into Manitoba and Saskatchewan
  • GE corn area is increasing  because of Manitoba and Alberta plantings
  • Canola area in Canada has now surpassed wheat for the first time

3. Provide a run-down on GE plantings in Canada including confirming information that CBAN has on the market status of GM crops:

  • Confirm that GM potatoes could be planted this year.
  • Confirmed that GM alfalfa plantings in 2017 were less than 5000 acres.
  • Confirm no GM apples grown in Canada yet and no immediate plans.

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Phone 902 852 5555

Local Wisdom from Comox Valley

What a breath of  fresh air to see  a rotten apple called a rotten apple !
The writer is Jim Boulter , current president  of Comox Valley Nature.
This excerpt is  the President’s Comments in the Jan 2018 CVN newsletter.
  Ref #3 about the non-legal basis of maximizing shareholders returns is worth reading.
 President’s Comments

      I tend to be quite ambivalent when it comes to GMO food supplies like the salmon post above. Maybe it is just my suspicious and cynical nature, but I feel that the food industry seems to be benefitting from two things, which are diametrically opposed. On the one hand, the industry considers their products so safe that no real, long term research efforts are needed to prove this fact, on the other hand these same products are so unique they get to be patented, copyrighted and licensed out. What research does get done is typically in-house, and therefore subject to at least the appearance of bias. When outsiders like the general public or journalists try to gain insight into the process, the industry uses lawyers to make sure that “proprietary information” is not released.  

   To borrow a phrase from Joseph Stieglitz, a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, these issues represent a “perverse incentive”: the top employees of these companies and their Board of Directors cannot be held personally responsible for the decisions they make, but they benefit directly from those decisions in the form of higher pay and stock options. All upside, with no downside. Look at Chemie Grunethal, the company that produced thalidomide 1, for example. A half a century later, the company has still not suffered any economic or legal repercussions for selling a woefully under-tested product to pregnant women as a sleeping and anti-nausea tonic. Can we expect any less from Monsanto and its cronies?

  Normally I do not have much in the way of solutions, but this time I do have a couple suggestions on how this can be changed.

The first is open, independent, and long-term animal testing of any GMO product designed to be eaten.

The second is to remove the ability of companies to have court decisions “sealed” so each additional victim has to re-try the case, as was done in the Ford Pinto 2 scandal.

A third thing would be to make people responsible for the “bad decisions” personally responsible. Ford for example, literally got away with murder with no repercussions.

The fourth thing that comes to mind is the supposed legal requirement that corporations act to maximize 3 the shareholders returns, which it turns out has no basis in law.

    In the meantime, and in view of the industries reluctance to have their products labeled as GMO 4, I suppose we will have to hope that those suppliers who avoid GMO label their products as non-GMO.  Given my philosophy of “I don’t plan to have an accident, but I always wear my seatbelt”,  maybe I will stay cautious and avoid GMO whenever it is known to me. Unlike the big corporations I cannot have my (GMO) cake and eat it too.  




4) Opposition to I-522  (Washington State) came primarily from large chemical corporations (Monsanto Company, DuPont Pioneer, Dow Agro-Sciences LLC, and Bayer Crop-Science), and organizations such as Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, Northwest Food Processors, Washington Association of Wheat Growers, the Washington State Farm Bureau and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, who rallied and mounted a $46 million campaign via Nestle SA, General Mills Inc., Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc. to defeat the initiative.[16][17][18] These large donations have reportedly “shattered” previous fundraising records against any other initiative, a full month ahead of the election.[19]