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GMO Labelling Talking Points for Canadians

  • The Canadian regulation of GMOs is inadequate. The Canadian government largely ignored the most extensive report done on GMO regulation by Canada's highest scientific body: the Royal Society of Canada. The report sharply criticizes how GMOs are evaluated and approved (lack of transparency, peer review, public consultation, and doesn't follow the precautionary principle) yet the Canadian government has only implemented 2 out of its 53 recommendations. Until all 53 recommendations are implemented, and until Canadian regulatory agencies disentagle themselves from the clutch of biotech industry interests, Canadians deserve the right to make their own choice whether or not to consume GMOs. For more information about how GMOs are regulated, please read Canadian Biotechnology Action Network's expensive report on Canadian GMO regulation.

  • In the 20 years since GMOs were introduced, polls consistently show that over 80% of Canadians wish to see GMOs labelled. 

  • 64 countries around the world already label GMOs. We already have to identify our export crops as GMO or non-GMO when they are sold abroad. Why should Canadians be kept in the dark?

  • Studies conducted at arms' length from the biotech industry show that GMO labeling would not increase the price of food.

  • Canadian agencies responsible for regulating GMOs (Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency) frame GMO labelling as primarily a health issue, which ignores the many other reasons why Canadians may wish to avoid GMOs, from environmental to ethical to religious reasons. As the co-chair of the Royal Society of Canada Biotechnology Expert Panel says in the film, if you chose to avoid pork products for religious reasons (ie: Judaism and Islam), you should have a right to choose whether or not to eat a GM product that contains a pig gene. Further, while there are as yet no conclusive studies that prove GMOs are dangerous to human health, the World Health Organization states that "Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods." At the very least, our regulatory agencies must implement the Royal Society of Canada's 53 recommendations and provide mandatory labelling which the majority of Canadians wish to see.

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