Ontario’s grain farmers applaud the defeat of Bill C474

GUELPH, ON (February 11, 2011) – Grain Farmers of Ontario is relieved that Canada’s science-based regulatory system was upheld after bill C474 was defeated in third reading in the House of Commons.

Bill C474 recommended changes to the Seeds Regulations that would require export market analysis to be done before any new GMO technologies pass through the Canadian regulatory process.  In Canada, new GMO traits go through a rigorous evaluation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before they can be grown– a clear, predictable process evaluating new technologies based on sound science.

“I just returned from a trade mission to Brussels, Belgium with Agriculture Minister Ritz where we asked the EU to take a science-based approach to trade and GM crops,” says Don Kenny, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario.  “This bill would have undermined everything we advocated for.”

Canada exports over 30 million tonnes of grain every year to more than 70 countries worldwide.  The trade revenue to Canada from these exports is over $12 billion.

“The defeat of this bill is a real win for Ontario grain farmers.  It ensures we have access to the technology we need to increase crop yields, lower our costs, protect the environment and be competitive,” says Kenny.  “We are grateful to the many MPs who lead the defeat of this bill including Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.”

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.