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Op-Ed: Supply Management delivers for Canadians – both conventional and organic

The front page story in a recent edition of the Toronto Star claimed to be an investigative report about milk in the grocery stores. While it is an interesting account of different practices of several dairy farmers, it comes to wrong and misleading conclusions that don’t do justice to the realities of conventional and organic milk, and certainly do not warrant top billing in the paper. The article’s conclusions – that consumers are being milked, and that there is no difference between “organic” and “conventional” milk -- are very misleading. 
 
All milk produced and sold in Canada is of very high quality. Quality standards are among the highest in the world. Conventional, as well as organic farmers, follow strict rules about cow comfort, which drugs and chemicals are allowed, what is the minimum withdrawal time and what procedures to follow when treatments are used.

Region 6 (Saskatchewan) Convention 2018

Date: 
Wed, 08/01/2018 - 17:15 - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 15:30
Everyone is welcome to attend the annual National Farmers Union Region 6 (Saskatchewan) Convention on August 1 and 2 in Swift Current, SK. We are pleased to have the opportunity to begin our convention with a dinner and public event immediately following the AAFC Organic and Low-Input Agricultural Systems Field Day and Tradeshow
 
The Convention begins Wednesday, August 1st at Walker Place (2150 Walker Street, Swift Current) with registration at 5:15 PM.

Union Farmer Quarterly: Summer 2018

 
In this issue …
 
Messages from the Editorial Advisory Committee, NFU President Coral Sproule, NFU Women's President Katie Ward, NFU Youth President Stuart Oke and Regional Reports.
 
Introducing julie Enman, Region 8 (BC) representative on the Women's Advisory Committee and announcing two National Office staff retirements. 
 
Articles:
 
Connecting with a Remarkable Array of Farm Organizations
Murray Jowett, Region 5 (Manitoba) youth rep, tells about the many connections with people and ideas he made at the Agroecology Encounter in Florida.
 
The cows are returning to prison

Union Farmer Newsletter - July 2018

 
In this issue …
 
NFU calls for better regulation, disclosure of test plot locations and end to open air GM crop testing following Alberta wheat contamination incident
On June 14 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) informed the public that some genetically modified (GM) wheat had been found growing on an access road to an oil rig on a farm in Alberta.

NFU calls on CFIA to publish GM wheat test plot sites

(Saskatoon, June 20, 2018) –The recent discovery in southern Alberta of genetically modified wheat plants with Monsanto’s glyphosate resistance trait has renewed concern about the risk of GMO contamination to Canada’s wheat. Japan and Korea have suspended imports of Canadian wheat pending their own investigation of the situation.
 
The National Farmers Union (NFU) has called for the elimination of open-air testing of genetically modified crops since 2001. The potential impact on farmers’ livelihoods and the Canadian economy that would occur if contamination resulted in permanently closed markets is an unacceptable risk.
 
“We sincerely hope that the Alberta incident is isolated. How the genetically modified wheat plants ended up in the location where they were found remains a mystery.

Letter - Requesting CFIA to publish location of genetically modified wheat field trials

 
June 20, 2018
 
Mr. Paul Glover, President
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9                                                                                                    email:  Paul.Glover@inspection.gc.ca 
 
Dear Mr.

Op-Ed: Cereals Canada’s Irresponsible GM Wheat Policy

The discovery of genetically modified (GM) spring wheat plants growing in Alberta is disappointing and damaging to Canadian farmers. And so is the reaction by Cereals Canada—an industry-dominated group that falsely claims to represent Canadian wheat farmers.
 
An article published in 2014 quotes Cereals Canada President, Cam Dahl saying, “Cereals Canada’s support for GM wheat is consistent with the policy of its member associations, which includes the Grain Growers, miller’s association and life science companies. The policy was adopted by Cereals Canada board of Directors…” Following a GM wheat contamination incident in Oregon in 2014, Cereals Canada also signed on to a statement in support of further investment in, and commercialization of genetically modified wheat.

GM wheat contamination incident a reminder of need for better regulation

(June 15, 2018, SASKATOON, SK) -- On June 14, 2018, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released information about an incident in Alberta where a small patch of unapproved genetically modified wheat was discovered. The wheat plants have a glyphosate resistant herbicide tolerance trait that was developed and tested by Monsanto in open-air field plots fifteen to twenty years ago. The nearest test plot site is over 300 kilometers from where the contamination incident was discovered. The exact identity of the wheat is unknown. When field trials were approved the CFIA did not require full genetic characterization of the experimental lines containing the genetic modification.

Letter - NFU urges PM to stand firm in the protection of Canadian supply management.

The National Farmers Union sent the following letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today. 
 
June 14, 2018
 
Right Honorable Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario   K1A 0A6                                                                                      justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca
 
Dear Prime Minist

Farmers lose with USA’s, Canada’s approval of Bayer acquisition of Monsanto, says NFU

May 31, 2018, Saskatoon, SK – On May 30, 2018 Canada’s Competition Bureau approved Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto with conditions, one day after the United States Justice Department announced its approval of the deal. Monsanto is with world’s largest seed company; Bayer is the world’s largest pesticide company. Both companies also sell digital agriculture systems, with Monsanto’s being the most widely used. The new company will become the world’s largest integrated digital agriculture, seed and pesticide company. The European Union, Brazil, Russia and China have already approved the deal. 
 
To address regulators’ concerns about the deal’s negative impact on competition, Bayer offered to sell BASF its seed and pesticide businesses. Regulators have made divestment of these assets a condition of their approvals.