Bill to Ban Terminator in Canada re-introduced - Support Bill C-353

March 3, 2009

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New Democratic Party (NDP): RIGHTS OF CANADIAN FARMERS SHOULD COME FIRST
Atamanenko re-introduces Private Members Bill to ban terminator seed technology

OTTAWA –NDP’s Agriculture Critic Alex Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) re-introduced his Private Member’s Bill from the last parliament yesterday to ban ‘terminator seed technology’ in Canada.

“The only goal of “Terminator” is to make sure that farmers are forced to buy new seed each season,” stated Atamanenko. “This is a technology where plants with a built in suicide characteristic will still have the ability to cross pollinate with neighbouring crops of the same species and wreak havoc on farmers who haven’t even planted them.”

Bill C-353, the Terminator Seed Ban Act, is designed to protect the right of Canadian farmers to save and re-use seeds by banning the release, sale, importation and use of Variety Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (V-GURTs). More commonly known as “Terminator”, these seeds are genetically engineered to be sterile after the first harvest. The promoters of this technology do not make the claim that there will be any agronomic benefits to farmers.

“We share the conviction that Canada should join the ranks of countries like India and Brazil, whose governments have already legislated bans on this technology in order to protect their farmers,” said Atamanenko.

“Our government needs to make the commitment to our farmers and to the international community that terminator seeds will not be allowed to take root in Canada,”

Since 2005, the federal government has been working against global consensus on banning “Terminator”. It does not recognize the current moratorium and says it will assess the technology on a case-by-case basis – a position which has been rejected by the U.N Convention on Biodiversity.

“The international community would rejoice if Canada were to pass this law. We have an opportunity to bring the world a major step closer to eliminating this detestable technology,” concluded Atamanenko. “I urge Canadians to appeal to the government to support this legislation.”