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Canadians Call on Government to Defend Moratorium on Terminator Seeds
Six-year Global Moratorium Under Threat at UN Meetings.
March 20, 2006-- For Immediate Release
Ottawa March 20, 2006. As a critical meeting of the UN Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD) begins today in Curitiba, Brazil,
thousands of Canadians and hundreds of organizations across the
country are calling on Environment Minister Rona Ambrose to defend
a moratorium on Terminator seed technology.
Canada's position on Terminator seed technology has hit a nerve with Canadians, who don't feel they've been consulted. Giuliano Tolusso of Agriculture Canada was recently quoted as saying "We haven't necessarily actively consulted farmers". Faris Ahmed of USC Canada, an Ottawa based international development organization, says Canadians can't accept that. "In whose name is the delegation speaking, and whose interests are they serving?", he said.
"The government of Canada saw how angry Canadians were at proposed legislation to take away Canadian farmers' ability to save, re-use, and exchange seeds. That's nothing compared to the reaction you will get if you try and impose sterile seeds on us," said Colleen Ross, Women's President of the National Farmers Union. "These plants are engineered to grow dead seeds. This technology has zero benefit to farmers. It only serves one purpose: to force farmers to buy seeds every year from seed companies who will increase their profits at our expense. Terminator wheat alone will cost Canadian farmers an additional 100 million dollars per year."
The 44,000 farmers of Quebec's Union des producteurs agricoles
(UPA), the National Farmers Union, and the Canadian Organic Growers
have all declared themselves opposed to Terminator. Last week, the
200,000 member Canadian Federation of Agriculture passed a resolution
requesting an assessment of Terminator's impacts on farmers.
"Terminator technology is another example of corporate profits being placed ahead of people and life itself," said Mr. Schmeiser. "Where is the justice when the biotech industry's bottom line is placed ahead of a billion people?"
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