Thursday, 6 December 2007

Good News from the Ban Terminator campaign

from Bill Currie in Wynyard, Saskatchewan. has been campaigning for most of this year to halt Canada's promotion of genetically engineered food and related technologies. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I wanted to let you know about two positive developments.

As you may know, Canada is one of the largest producers of Genetically Modified crops in the world. Canada has been called part of the "Axis of Evil" for its past efforts, at meetings under the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, to overthrow the international moratorium on Terminator seed.

Terminator seed is genetically engineered so as to become sterile after one harvest. It is part of a strategy by Monsanto and agribusiness to privatize the world's seed supply and require farmers to purchase GM seeds every year from agribusiness corporations. 1.4 billion people around the world depend on farmer-saved seeds, which are crucial for their food security and for the planet's biodiversity.

“Terminator is a direct assault on farmers and indigenous cultures and on food sovereignty. It threatens the well-being of all rural people, primarily the very poorest,” says Rafael Alegría of Via Campesina, an organization representing over 10 million peasant farmers worldwide. See more of this report.

Here are two recent positive breakthroughs in the fight for food security and biodiversity:
1) The EU's Environment Commissioner, Savros Dimas, wants to ban two types of GM corn because they pose "unacceptable" risks for the environment (see article below). Separate studies have suggested that the GM plants' insecticide harms butterflies and gets into streams, where it poisons aquatic life. "This could and should be the beginning of the end for GM crops in Europe," says Clare Oxborrow, GM campaigner for Friends of the Earth.

2) 80% of British Columbians want mandatory labelling of GM foods. NDP MLA, Gregor Robertson, has just introduced "Right to Know" legislation, which would make BC the first province in Canada to require GM food to be labelled. Phone or email Premier Gordon Campbell telling him you want the "Right to Know" legislation passed (phone: 250 387-1715;

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