April 9, 2013
Grain Growers of Canada disagrees with Anti-GM Day of Protests
OTTAWA, April 9, 2013, – The Grain Growers of Canada and its over 50,000 farmer members have always been strong supporters of new technologies that enable us to farm more sustainably.
“We support Canada’s robust science-based regulatory environment which ensures any new crops or traits are proven safe for human consumption, animal feed and our environment,” said Stephen Vandervalk, President of the Grain Growers of Canada. “While we appreciate that many long-time opponents of progress have concerns, the reality is they have a lot of rhetoric, but no facts to back up their case.”
This statement of overwhelming farmer support for modern agriculture is in response to a day of protest being organized by the US-funded Canadian Biotechnology Action Network whose supporters having lost their case in the States are now trying to block the same innovation in Canada.
“This is more about a special interest group trying to get attention to support their fundraising than it is about any real health concerns,” said Richard Phillips, Executive Director of the Grain Growers of Canada. “In fact, this new alfalfa has been researched and approved by the Canadian Government and has full food, feed and environmental release approval, as it has in the United States as well.”
Farmers across Canada and around the world are rapidly accepting new GM traits because damaging populations of weeds, insects and diseases are controlled with fewer pesticides.
Of the 28 countries that planted genetically modified crops last year, 20 were developing and eight industrial countries. Acreage has also increased quickly; farmers planted 170 million acres worldwide in 2006 and over 420 million acres worldwide in 2012.
The Grain Growers of Canada represents over 50,000 successful wheat, durum, barley, canola, oat, corn, pea, lentil, soybean, rye and triticale farmers.