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
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
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
Submission to PMRA on Glyphosate Proposed Maximum Residue Limit
NFU members are increasingly concerned about the health and environmental impacts of glyphosate. Via our democratic policy development process, we adopted our position opposed to the pre-harvest spraying of glyphosate in 2014. This stance informs our position against the proposed MRL increases. Read more
Priorities for the Next Agricultural Policy Framework
The National Farmers Union sent the following letter to each federal and provincial Agriculture Minister in the lead-up to their annual conference, which will be held virtually in July. At this meeting they will develop the set of priorities, principles and measuring sticks that will guide the successor to the Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs, called Read more
NFU comments on Draft Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System Regulations
Submission to the Public Comment Period for the Federal Government’s Draft Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System Regulations This brief technical submission to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) should be read in conjunction with the NFU’s longer document, A Critical Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Offset Schemes and Draft Offset Credit System Regulations, which provides background, Read more
Union Farmer Newsletter: April 2021
In this issue … Seed For Food System Resilience: Private versus Public Interest – by Cathy Holtslander Canada’s seed variety system is in US trade crosshairs – by Cathy Holtslander US farm groups and unions ask Biden to end CUSMA attack on Canada’s supply management systems – by Cathy Holtslander Vegetable Seed Snapshot   Seed For Read more
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