A chorus of ‘precision agriculture’
The NFU agrees that the use of the new ag-technology, implied by “precision agriculture”, can improve many aspects of farming. However, our most important question always is whether or not the best interests of farmers are being served by innovations. Or is this another way to consolidate corporate control, making a possibly good thing into a deeper threat for independent farmers? Read more
Union Farmer Newsletter: September – October 2021
In this issue: Precision, power and precaution: gene editing How – or whether – Canada regulates gene editing has far-reaching implications Proposed MRL increase for glyphosate leads to pause, planned consultations   Precision, power and precaution: gene editing By Cathy Holtslander, NFU Director of Research and Policy Technologies are not simply tool sets, but are Read more
NFU Submission to CFIA on Gene Editing Regulatory Guidance
Submission to CFIA on guidance for determining whether a plant is subject to Part V of the Seeds Regulations The NFU is a voluntary direct-membership, non-partisan, national farm organization made up of thousands of farm families from across Canada who produce a wide variety of food products, including grains, livestock, fruits and vegetables. Founded in Read more
CFIA gene editing regulatory proposal not science-based or transparent
Canada is deciding how to regulate gene-edited plants – and is largely proposing not to. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for regulating genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) plants for environmental safety under the Seeds Act Regulations - Part V. These regulations define what is considered a “Plant with Novel Traits” (PNTs) and how PNTs are regulated. The CFIA is proposing a new interpretation that would exempt many gene edited plants right away, and more in the future. The proposed regulatory guidance turns its back on science, allows biotech companies to determine safety, and leaves farmers, future regulators and the public in the dark. Read more
Commentary on CFIA proposal for regulating gene-edited plants
The CFIA’s proposed guidance would allow plant developers (biotechnology companies) to decide for themselves whether their product meets the CFIA’s criteria for regulation as a PNT. It proposes to exempt from regulation genetically engineered plants that do not contain foreign DNA if they are not expected to result in any of four environmental impacts the CFIA lists. In addition, the proposed criteria would exempt some genetically engineered plants that have a trait previously approved by the CFIA, even if the approved trait was in another plant species or developed using different technology. Read more
Federal Election 2021: Ag Platforms of the Major Parties
The following is an overview of party platforms pertaining to agriculture, as of August 31, 2021, for the four largest national parties (in alphabetical order). Conservative Party The Conservatives have a detailed agricultural platform. The Party’s 83-page Canada’s Recovery Plan promises, in part, to: Respect and defend supply management … and ensure that farming families Read more
Response to PMRA Potential Environmental Risk to Squash Bee
Pest Management Regulatory Agency Publications Section Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) Health Canada 2720 Riverside Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9 By e-mail: hc.pmra.publications-arla.sc@canada.ca August 13, 2021 Re: Proposed Special Review Decision PSRD2021-02, Special Reviews: Potential environmental risk related to squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa) exposure to Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam and Imidacloprid used on cucurbits The National Farmers Union Read more
Time for Western Premiers to “Do The Right Thing” Regarding Agristability
Swift Current, SK—The National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging the western conservative premiers in Saskatchewan and Alberta to put aside the political posturing and “do the right thing” in order to get crucially needed aid to drought-stricken farmers. The NFU is urging the premiers to accept federal offers to increase coverage within the AgriStability program Read more
Manitoba Cattle Farmers Face Rising Costs from Drought & Government
Brandon, MB—Manitoba cattle farmers are facing higher costs and may soon see falling prices.  Farmers may be on the eve of a severe cost-price squeeze. The NFU today sent a letter to the Manitoba Minister of Agriculture detailing the problem and outlining some solutions. The drought is driving up feed grain and hay prices and Read more
Canadian Farms Hammered by Heat and Drought; Climate Change Will Make Such Events More Frequent and Damaging
Le français suit Saskatoon, SK—Across BC, the Prairies, and western Ontario, intense heat and lack of rain are withering crops, pastures, livestock feed, orchards, and vegetable fields and drying up water supplies.  The results are devastating.  More than three-quarters of Canadian farmland has been impacted by drought. Arzeena Hamir and her husband farm in the Read more
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