On the defeat of Bill C-291 Mandatory Labelling of GM Foods

Filed in 2017 Media releases, Media releases by on May 19, 2017

Statement by Friends of the Earth Canada CEO, Beatrice Olivastri:

An impressive majority of Canadians say they want mandatory labelling of genetically modified food (88% according to an Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network(CBAN), September 2015. www.cban.ca/2015poll).  And why shouldn’t they get it? After all, Canada already requires labelling of all irradiated foods and there are mandatory requirements for all prepackaged food products to indicate country of origin on labels.

However, the vote in Parliament on Bill C-291 for mandatory labelling of genetically modified (GM) foods was held on May 17 – the Bill was defeated. Canada will remain in the dark ages along with the US as the only developed countries with no mandatory labelling – over 64 countries world wide have some form of mandatory labelling including member countries of the EU, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and China.

There are many solid reasons why Canadians may want to avoid purchasing genetically modified foods.  CBAN’s polling indicates 30% of Canadians cite ethical concerns and 87% say they just want to know what is in the food they’re eating.  Friends of the Earth Canada CEO Beatrice Olivastri says, “This will become an even more pressing need to know what you are eating now that Canada’s “Food Island”, Prince Edward Island, is planning to allow the world’s first genetically engineered fish to be grown out from eggs produced on site by AquaBounty. Canadian legislators have let the public down badly by refusing this opportunity to pass mandatory labelling for GM foods.”

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