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Letter: Thanking Atamanenko


Re: Biotech bullying in overdrive (Feb. 9 issue of the Grand Forks Gazette).

Thanks to our B.C. Southern Interior MP, Alex Atamanenko, parliament finally engaged in a real debate over the issue.

This Feb. 9, C-474 failed in a 178 to 98 vote in the Commons.

The private member’s Bill C-474 would have required “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”

It’s a disappointing loss to Canadians and another victory in corporate moves to own and control the world’s food supply.

Evidently, Canadians cannot expect the present parliament to be at once, both democratic and responsible. Conservatives and Liberals again show that we really have only “the best government that money can buy.”

Our government is a shill for corporations driven solely by the appetite of their shareholders for greater quarterly profit.  Over and over again these corporations purchase slack from Canada’s Conservative and Liberal parties.

The National Farmers Union noted while C-474 was put to vote in Ottawa, most Agriculture Committee members were in Guelph listening to the president of Monsanto Canada.

Monsanto, the leading proponent of genetically modified seed, had lobbied to prevent the Commons debate from even occurring.

Genetically engineered (GE) food has gained submission from global markets with  “buy in” of massive scale industrial agriculture and laxness and corruption of governments.

Monsanto’s promises of better crop through genetic engineering proves false, as the Union of Concerned Scientists says that in a nearly 20-year record, genetically engineered crops have not increased U.S. yields substantially.

GE agriculture allows for reckless abuse of air, water and soil resources. GE tries to surmount our bad practices through biological tinkering.  GE products are patented for profit.

A better and greener future in agriculture will be found in continued diversity, not in corporate monopoly.

Diversity in agriculture means multitudes of local small-scale farms cultivating many varieties of seed.  This is a healthy and sustainable agriculture that works with nature’s nutrient and water cycles and not against them.

Thanks again to MP Alex Atamanenko for a very good try in a tough row to hoe.

Dave Cursons, Cawston, B.C