Union Farmer Newsletter: February 2023
In this issue: Advocating for farmland protection in Ontario Towards a National Agricultural Labour Strategy that works for Farmers and Farm Workers Public transit should not stop at the city Read more
Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau re President of the CFIA
Upon learning that the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency retired effective January 20, 2022, the NFU sent the following letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Read more
Croplife involvement in regulation means CFIA President must be replaced, say groups
In September, Radio Canada revealed that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had circulated a summary of an important regulatory proposal via a document that was produced on a computer owned by CropLife Canada. This indication of improper collaboration between the CFIA and CropLife has shaken confidence in the CFIA’s ability to protect the public interest. Public confidence in our food and agriculture sector depends on regulatory oversight that operates transparently and in the public interest at all times. Friday, October 14th the National Farmers Union along with thirteen additional organizations wrote to Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Bibeau requesting that she replace the President of the CFIA in order to restore the CFIA’s reputation and credibility. Read more
Letter – Mandatory reporting required for traceability and transparency
Thank you for reassuring the organic sector that you will guarantee traceability of all genetically engineered products (genetically modified organisms or GMOs), to protect the integrity of the Canada Organic Standards and the future of organic food and farming in Canada. We reiterate that voluntary disclosure of information by product developers, as proposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in current regulatory guidance drafts, would not be reliable. Voluntary reporting would put many farmers, food businesses, and markets at risk. It would also engender public mistrust in the food system and government regulation thereof. Read more
Union Farmer Newsletter: September 2022
In this issue: Seed Regulatory Modernization – What’s it all about? Pest Management Regulatory Agency Legislative Review Putting Limits on Farmland Investment Companies Seed Regulatory Modernization – What’s it all Read more
NFU asks Minister to rescind Health Canada guidance for Novel Food Regulations
As Minister, you have a duty to protect and inform Canadians regarding matters of health, and you have a duty as a Minister of the Crown to uphold democratic values. A regulatory guidance is an instrument which must remain within the authority of the regulation approved by Cabinet. An interpretation that goes beyond the limits of the regulation itself creates a situation where the bureaucracy is over-reaching its role and usurping the authority of Cabinet. As Minister, we call upon you to prevent your department from taking a course of action that is contrary to our democratic traditions. We therefore urge you to rescind the announced “final guidance for the Novel Food Regulations.” Read more
Op Ed – Health Minister must ensure new gene edited foods are properly and democratically regulated
 On May 18, Health Canada announced how it will regulate foods from gene-edited plants. The new “regulatory guidance” turns its back on science and transparency by actually exempting many new gene-edited foods from regulation. Our health minister, Jean-Yves Duclos, has decided to allow Health Canada to open the door for product developers to sell gene-edited organisms without any government oversight. He has abandoned his responsibility to Canadians who rely on the government to ensure our food system is safe. Without proper regulation, there is no assurance for Canadians or our export customers, that our products are safe. Read more
Take Action: Stop the CFIA from abandoning GM seed regulation!
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) wants to make gene-edited genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) plants and seed exempt from regulation. Instead, it would let private companies decide if Read more
NFU Briefing Note on proposed gene editing regulatory guidance
National Farmers Union BRIEFING NOTE regarding proposed regulatory guidances for plants and seeds produced using new biotechnologies (gene editing) Recommendations to Health Canada: • All gene-edited products, including those with Read more
Letter to Minister Bibeau re CFIA regulatory guidance for gene edited seed
Our submission raises very serious questions of governance, science, and the duty of the CFIA as public regulator to serve the public interest. We noted that in the process of developing the proposed guidance, the CFIA relied heavily on representatives of CropLife Canada, whose members stand to gain undue control of seed, and financially benefit from deregulation of gene edited products at the expense of farmers and the public good. This conflict of interest is at the heart of our concerns. The CFIA’s approach suggests it equates regulated parties with stakeholders. Regulated parties seek to avoid constraints on their business, while the public has a long-term stake in environmental safety and transparency. Read more