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Elections are soon… does your preferred candidate support GMO labelling?

By August 12, 2015 April 7th, 2019 No Comments

WITH CANADA’S FEDERAL ELECTION COMING UP ON OCTOBER 19, DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR PREFERRED CANDIDATE STANDS ON THE TOPIC OF MANDATORY GMO LABELLING?

NDP and Green Party: pro-GMO labelling

The NDP have been clear about their position: MP Murray Rankin is so supportive of mandatory GMO labelling that he introduced a motion (M-480) to label GMOs. Elizabeth May and the Green Party likewise support Minister Rankin’s motion. Both parties are committed to full transparency in food labelling.

Conservative Party: opposed to GMO labelling

The Conservatives have taken the opposite position, consistently ignoring consumer demand for GMO labelling all throughout their term. After my meeting with our Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, and the follow up meeting with scientists from Health Canada, their position was clear:  they aren’t interested in labelling GMOs.

In fact our Minister of Agriculture, Jerry Ritz is outspokenly opposed to giving Canadians the Right to Know what’s in our food. In the September 22, 2014 issue of The Hill Times Ritz said, “Mandatory GM labelling is an ill-informed, ideologically-driven proposal that would increase red-tape on businesses, decimate Canadian farmers, and drastically increase costs for Canadian consumers.”

Isn’t it odd that none of these problems have occurred in the 60+ countries around the world that have mandatory GMO labelling? Mr. Ritz’s information sounds strangely similar to the propaganda from Big Food and Monsanto…

Liberal Party: still unclear…

So, where do the Liberals stand on this issue? I wanted to find out for myself, so on July 19, I attended a Liberal town hall meeting in Markham, Ontario and asked Justin Trudeau directly. He responded: “The Liberal Party believes in giving consumers the most information we possibly can about what they’re purchasing… That’s a principle we absolutely support.”

I’m hopeful this means he supports mandatory GMO labelling, but he definitely didn’t come right out and say it. In fact his answer carefully skirted the issue and didn’t specifically say GMOs, so at this point, I’m not clear where they stand. Have a listen to the video and decide for yourself .

Canadian Citizens: overwhelming demand for GMO labelling

Polls show that about 90 percent of Canadians want GMOs labelled. We have consistently voiced our desire for the right to know what’s in our food, and the freedom to choose what we eat.

But somehow our voices keep getting lost amidst the big marketing bucks that Monsanto and Big Food have poured into North America over the past few years—all in an effort to make sure that ingredients such as GMO corn and its byproducts (including high fructose corn syrup), GMO soy and its byproducts (including hydrolyzed vegetable protein and vegetable oil), GMO canola, sugar made from GMO sugar beets (found in most major soda brands), and the soon to be introduced Arctic apple, are never labelled.

Politicians are supposedly elected to represent the people, not corporations. Yet corporate greed and political corruption is infiltrating all political party affiliations, as evidenced by the failure of GMO labelling initiatives in the U.S., and the recent passing by U.S. Congress of  bill H.R. 1599 blocking all labelling of GMOs (dubbed the DARK Act — Deny Americans the Right to Know).

What Can You Do? Make GMO labelling an election issue.

I know where the NDP, the Green Party and the Conservatives stand, but I’m still not sure about the Liberals. If we want corporate transparency, freedom of choice, and the right to know what’s in our food, we have to demand answers from our politicians about their position onGMO labelling, and hold them accountable.

Attend an all candidate’s meeting in your area. Ask the same question I did. Be sure they know that your vote depends on where they stand on this issue. If enough people ask, these candidates will know how important this is to Canadians, and maybe, just maybe, begin representing their voters instead of their corporate sponsors!

Here’s How:

  1. Find the contact information for your Member of Parliament (MP) by clicking here >
  2. Contact your MP’s office and ask them when there will be an All-Parties Meeting of the candidates running for MP in your riding.
  3. Visit this website to get the names of the candidates and which parties they represent;
  4. Attend the All-Parties Meeting and ask each one of the candidates what their position is on labelling Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs):
    • Ask them if they would support a Motion for Mandatory GMO Labelling.
    • Video tape their responses.
    • Post your video on social media using our campaign hash tag #vote2labelgmo
    • Let them know that your vote depends on their response.

One more thing…

Please print, collect signatures and send petitions in support of Motion 480:

Rebeccah Fuaco

About Rebeccah Fuaco