GE Free Comox Valley

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Monthly Archives: March 2018

40,000-acre farm goes organic – The Western Producer

Since he was managing freshly broken pasture land on part of the farm, Heide soon realized that the economics of organic were better than conventional, especially when crops such as organic flax are selling for $37 per bu.“In organic, our costs were far lower, and because the value was up there, it just made sense,” he said.“Conventional doesn’t make sense unless you have the best land in the area.”

Source: 40,000-acre farm goes organic – The Western Producer

How Canadians Bankrolled the World’s First Genetically Engineered Food Animal – VICE

It was nearly a year ago, sometime after April, when hundreds of Canadians buying salmon in their local supermarkets got something they didn’t expect. It looked identical to other farmed Atlantic salmon—there were no labels suggesting something different. But it was AquaBounty AquAdvantage salmon—a genetically-engineered fish that grows to market size in less than half the time of conventional farmed salmon, thanks to the insertion of genes from two other fish.

Source: How Canadians Bankrolled the World’s First Genetically Engineered Food Animal – VICE

GM ‘Golden Rice ‘ Approved by Health Canada

Health Canada approves GM “Golden Rice” not intended for sale in Canada

March 20, 2018. Ottawa – Health Canada has announced its approval of the genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) Vitamin A enhanced “Golden Rice” even though it is not intended for sale in Canada and has not yet been approved by regulators in the intended markets.

“Health Canada should not be spending public resources to assess the safety of GM foods that will not be sold in Canada,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN).

Golden Rice is genetically engineered to have Vitamin A and is promoted as part of a solution to Vitamin A deficiency which is a serious public health problem in many developing countries, but not in Canada. Golden Rice is intended for distribution in the Philippines as well as other countries including Bangladesh, India and Indonesia where rice is a major staple food.

Farmers and consumers rights networks in the Philippines have expressed alarm about Canada’s approval. The networks are concerned that a national policy loophole could enable proponents to use Canada’s approval as a ‘safety stamp’ to introduce Golden Rice in the Philippines and start feeding trials including with children and pregnant women.

“We also question why the International Rice Research Institute is seeking safety approval from countries like Canada, Australia, and the US while farmers and consumers in Asia who plant and eat rice as a staple are left in the dark. Promoting readily available, diverse and safe Vitamin A food sources from sustainable and ecological farming is the long term solution to combat malnutrition, ensure food security and health, not genetically modified crops like Golden Rice,” said Cris Panerio of MASIPAG, a farmers network in the Philippines which is part of a pan-Asian network of more than 30 groups called the Stop Golden Rice! Network.(1)

Health Canada posted its approval decision on Friday March 16, 2018 and follows a December 20, 2017 approval from the agency Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

“The Canadian government has just waded into a huge global controversy that should be left to Asian farmers and consumers to decide, not Canadian regulators,” said Eric Chaurette of the international development group Inter Pares.

In a February letter responding to a request from CBAN for a rationale for the departmental review of Golden Rice, Health Canada said, “developers often choose to seek authorization in Canada as a first step in their regulatory plan even if they do not plan to sell the product in Canada.”(2)

“This precedent could set Canada up as a global regulatory haven for companies that want a seal of approval for their GM product,” said Thibault Rehn of the Quebec network Vigilance OGM. “The government should consult with the farmers and consumers to decide which GM foods it should evaluate.”

The government should consult with the farmers and consumers to decide which GM foods it should evaluate.”

While Health Canada says that the GM rice is not intended for sale in Canada, they state their safety assessment was conducted, “in order to determine whether this rice variety could be sold in Canada as food.”(3)

“We need to first give the people and government of the Philippines time to assess and debate Golden Rice, before we weigh in,” said Chaurette.


For more information:
Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 809 1103
Eric Chaurette, Inter Pares, 613 563 4801 ext. 147
Thibault Rehn, Vigilance OGM, 514 582 1674
Cris Panerio, MASIPAG Philippines, ,
Ana Bibal, Stop Golden Rice! Network, Philippines


(1) MASIPAG has released numerous press statements of Golden Rice Please see and also
(2) Correspondence between the Canadian government and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network is posted at

All this against Monsanto

2018-03-07 All of this directed against Monsanto!

Summary by Sandra Finley :(activist from the prairies)

Sandra Finley <>



  1.  Hugh Grant has been the CEO of Monsanto since 2003.

He should receive an achievement award – – for the most people in the world rallied against one company!

I had to laugh when I heard (Feb 15)  Monsanto, 168-page subpoena served on Avaaz demands names and addresses of Avaazers who have signed Monsanto campaigns

Avaaz ran an incredible campaign in the EU last year (other groups did, too), to stop the re-licensing of Roundup.  A petition of well over a million signatures was delivered, just one of the many tactics used.   They came close;  in the end, Monsanto was given a 5-year renewal, Monsanto had been expecting a 15-year renewal.   In 5 years, Monsanto will be going through everything all over again,  but it will be in the aftermath of the court cases in California (below), and other developments.   The “Avaaz + others” achievement, in cutting the licensed period from 15 years down to 5, is significant.

An aside, worth your while.  Ricken Patel (founder of Avaaz) is David to the giant, Hugh Grant.  And not only Hugh Grant:

The man behind Avaaz, Ricken Patel, Canadian  (Interview, CNN. Plus article, The Economist)

2) On this side of the Atlantic,  there are about 345 non-Hodgkin Lymphoma lawsuits waiting to go forward against Monsanto, in California.   The results of this one case in San Francisco, this week,  will affect what happens with the other cases:

2018-03-05  Monsanto says its pesticides are safe. Now, a court wants to see the proof,  The Guardian.

2018-03-05 Farmers vs. Monsanto: Glyphosate Showdown Comes to U.S. Court in San Francisco, List of the expert witnesses that will be called. Organic Consumers.

3)  Bless CBAN (yet again).   All Canadians should be aware of the danger behind the mergers that are taking place.  Monsanto and Bayer are just one.

2018-03-05 Stop the Monsanto-Bayer Mega Merger, CBAN

4) The people working to save the pollinators, the bees and the wasps, on their flip side, are working to prevent more poisoning by Monsanto, Bayer and their colleagues.  Many different groups in many different places are fighting to save the bees.

An important, well-done action item that simultaneously addresses “regulatory capture” of the PMRA by the chemical industry, initiated by Friends of the Earth:

2018-03-08   The bees have a question.    And how about this – –

2017-12-05  Morgan Freeman converted his ranch into a bee refuge    ?!

5) Many of  these initiatives represent entirely different groups of people working in yet another way against Monsanto and what it represents.  A one day free listen this Sunday:

2018-03-07 Glyphosate (Monsanto, Roundup)  One day free listen,  Sunday March 11, interview     

6)  I don’t think I told you:   the March Against Monsanto partnered with the Truth About Cancer.   Both of those movements have large on-line communities.  Finally getting through:  if you want to stop the cancer, you have to stop the poisons.

Does everyone know about the Marches Against Monsanto?  International.  It was started by a young mother in Utah who wanted safe food for her kids.   The next March is just 2 months away May 19th, 2018.  (The first one was May, 2013).

I’ll update, to help people find a nearby group,  the List of March Against Monsanto (MAM), No to GMO, & GE Free Groups, emphasis on Canada    A number of the facebook groups do a fantastic job of sharing information, self-educating, and drawing more people into the worldwide movement to stop the poisoning.

I will be marching on May 19th.  Having fun.   If you don’t have a March,  it will be equally helpful if you use opportunities to bring Monsanto into everyday conversations.  Tell a neighbour about the court cases in California, maybe?  Or the international marches on May 19th?  . . .

7)  Monsanto will be  . . .  in court?!

2017-04-18 Legal opinion: Monsanto’s activities have negative impact on basic human rights

Arkansas Defies Monsanto, Moves To Ban Rogue Weedkiller (NPR)…

This miracle weed killer was supposed to save farms. Instead, it’s devastating them. (Washington Post)…

Monsanto Fighting Arkansas Dicamba Ban (Arkansas Matters)

Arkansas judge dismisses Monsanto lawsuit on dicamba ban,  ABC NewsFeb. 16, 2018

With our help,  the break-through will come.  It’s amazing already – – the above is just a small sampling of the mobilizations against Monsanto!

If you’d like to add to the list,  please use the “Comments” below.