A tough row to hoe

Thanks to our BC Southern Interior MP, Alex Atamanenko, and for the first time in Canada’s 15-year history with genetically engineered (GE) crops, Parliament did engage in a real debate over the issue.

Dear Editor,                                                                                                                                   

Thanks to our BC Southern Interior MP, Alex Atamanenko, and for the first time in Canada’s 15-year history with genetically engineered (GE) crops, Parliament did engage in a real debate over the issue.

 Atamanenko’s  Bill C-474 would have required “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”

 On Wednesday February 9th, 2011 C-474 failed in a 178 to 98 vote in Canada’s House of Commons.

Disappointing for sure as a very tough time is upon us and it is all for the sake of corporate profit and big money’s moves to own and control the world’s food supply.

 Again, we see that Canadians cannot be confident that Parliamentary Government will be at once both democratic and responsible. Ottawa proves again and again that we really have only ‘the best government that money can buy’.

 Our government is a shill for corporations driven solely by the appetite of their shareholders for greater quarterly profit.  Over and over again these corporations purchase slack from  Canada’s Conservative and Liberal parties.

 Canada’s National Farmers Union noted that instead of being at the C-474 vote in Ottawa, most Agriculture Committee members are actually in Guelph listening to the President of Monsanto Canada.

 Monsanto is the leading proponent of genetically modified seed.  Monsanto had lobbied to prevent the Commons debate from even occurring.

 Genetically Engineered food has won significant global market share through the  ‘buy in’ of massive scale industrial agriculture and laxness of governments.  Although very profitable to Monsanto and a few others, GE interference fails in the goal of increasing crop yield.  

 GE’s promise of better crop yield was to save the world from starvation but The Union of Concerned Scientists  says that in a nearly 20 year record, genetically engineered crops have not increased US yields substantially.

 Genetically Engineered agriculture allows for our reckless abuse of air, water and soil resources and tries to surmount our bad practices through costly technological tinkering.  Such Genetic Engineering methods and products are patented for profit.

 A better and Greener future in agriculture will be found in continued diversity. 

Diversity in agriculture means multitudes of local small scale farms cultivating many varieties of seed.  This is a healthy and sustainable agriculture that works with nature’s nutrient and water cycles and not against them.

 Thanks again to MP Alex Atamanenko for very good try.  

 This is a very tough row to hoe.

 

Dave Cursons

Cawston, BC