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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.

Bayer-Monsanto consolidation – Media backgrounder

PDF Version

There has been a flurry of “merger and acquisition” (M&A) activity among global agribusiness corporations since 2016.

Union Farmer Newsletter - June 2018

 
In this issue …
 
NFU trying to shine a light on government funding of Wheat Board privatization
At the 2017 National Convention NFU members voted to ask the Auditor General to audit the federal government money involved in ending the Canadian Wheat Board and transferring its assets to the private company, G3.  Here’s what happened …
 
Corporate elite appointed to shape future of agriculture in Canada
The National Food Policy for Canada is still a work in progress, yet the federal government has already begun implementing recommendations from the Barton Report.

Supply Management

Canada's innovative solution

Supply management is a unique Canadian institution that provides stability in five perishable food sectors by controlling the amount produced, preventing shortages, and keeping under-priced imports from being dumped into our market. As a result, Canada does not experience wide fluctuations in supply and prices and our system does not require massive government subsidies that are used by other countries to support farmers’ incomes in these sectors.

Canada’s supply management system applies to dairy, broiler chickens, laying hens, turkeys and hatching eggs across Canada. Each commodity is governed by its own elected provincial marketing board according to provincial legislation and regulations. The diversity among the boards and their autonomy allows for variations in how supply management is implemented within the national framework.

NA groups call for immediate suspension of the accelerated NAFTA talks

North American organizations call for an immediate suspension of the accelerated NAFTA talks until negotiating climate improves

OTTAWA, TORONTO, MEXICO CITY, WASHINGTON - May 7, 2018  - The political and economic climate under which Canada, Mexico and the United States began the NAFTA renegotiations in 2017 has deteriorated drastically in 2018. Organizations from all three countries call on their governments to immediately suspend the NAFTA talks until a proper climate for trade negotiations can be reestablished.
 
“The NAFTA renegotiations have accelerated recently to a 24/7 pace under the intense pressures from the United States, including its threat to impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico starting June 1st.

Growing Alberta’s turkey sector through diversified production for niche markets

The NFU sent the following letter to Alberta Turkey Producers on May 7, 2018:

2nd Letter to Auditor General re public expenditure on CWB privatization

In January 2018 the NFU wrote a letter to the Auditor General of Canada to request a public audit on post-2012 spending related to the Canadian Wheat Board. We recieved a response from him and have followed up with another letter, as follows:
 
April 25, 2018
 
Michael Ferguson
Auditor General of Canada
240 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G6
 
Dear Mr. Ferguson,
 
Re: Response to NFU request for audit of public expenditures related to post-Dec 2011 Canadian Wheat Board (CWB)
 
Thank you for your response to our January 31, 2018 letter.