OCO Supports Bill to Label GE Foods

Much of the feed corn in Ontario is genetically engineered.

New Democrat MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault of Sherbrooke tabled a bill last Friday in the House of Commons calling for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. Several provincial and federal organizations, including the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), the Canadian Organic Growers and Union Paysanne, were also present in support of the bill.

The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO), like many groups across the country, supports the passing of the bill. OCO will follow this movement closely. An online petition has been created and Dessault welcomes all Canadians to sign the petition.

“The subject boils down to the consumer’s right to know what is in their food,” says OCO Chair and owner of Homestead Organics Tom Manley. “If genetic engineering is such a good idea, then its proponents should be pleased to put it on the food label.”

“COTA supports moving this bill forward,” says COTA’s Executive Director Tia Loftsgard. “We believe in consumers’ right to know what is in the food they purchase.”

On their website, the NDP points out how over 65 jurisdictions, such as Vermont and Maine just south of the border, have made the labeling of GE foods mandatory. The party also points out how, for ten years, surveys have shown that almost 90% of Canadians support the labeling of GE foods.

“Our primary concern is the terminology and proper definition used in this bill,” said Loftsgard. “We will continue to work with MP Dusseault to ensure the proper wording is used to reflect the need for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered ingredients.”

Contacts:

Tom Manley, Organic Council of Ontario (613-543-0480, X 205, [email protected])

Tia Loftsgard, Canada Organic Trade Association,  (613-482-1717, [email protected]).

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