The massive Biotech lobby has spent nine months and hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting against New Democrat Agriculture Critic Alex Atamanenko’s seed bill.
“The amount of muscle flexing by big biotech against my simple bill has just been over the top,” said Atamanenko. “I am amazed that over 40 industry lobbyists – hired by multiple biotech organizations and companies – have been knocking on Conservative and Liberal MPs doors trying to get my bill killed.”
Atamanenko’s sensible bill is designed to protect farmers from any possible economic ramifications when genetically engineered seeds are introduced while Canada’s export markets are not prepared to accept them.
“We have already seen the EU shut its doors to our flax exports because of contamination by a GM variety they had not approved,” said Atamanenko. “This story should be taken as a cautionary tale for genetically modified wheat and alfalfa. Before approving such controversial technologies, the government has a responsibility to see what the economic ramifications will be for Canadian farmers.”
While Atamanenko doesn’t have the big bucks or corporate friends he feels optimistic that his bill has a chance of passing the House of Commons.
“Third reading of my bill starts today. It’s been a bumpy ride but we’ve gotten farther than any other Private Members’ Bill ever has on this issue,” said Atamanenko. “While it is obvious that the Conservatives are out of touch with the concerns of the average farmer, I will be doing my utmost to convince all opposition MP’s to put Canadian farmers first, when the time comes to vote on C-474.”
This article is a press release from the New Democratic Party.