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LETTER: Atamanenko can't answer for NDP supporters of GM foods

To the Editor:

New Democratic Party (NDP) MP Alex Atamanenko is concerned about genetically modified (GM) foods. Great… But how does he explain the two NDP premiers who established the GM industry’s permanent presence in Western Canada?

In all the media coverage of Atamanenko’s discussions on genetic modification, not one reporter has ever asked him why the NDP Premier of Saskatchewan, Roy Romanow, and the NDP Premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer, both supported the science of genetic engineering when they held office.

They both invested millions of dollars into their provincial universities for the development of the industry, and they both won back-to-back majorities for the NDP giving them ample opportunity to change their minds.

Far from backing off in any way, they both forged ahead with close cooperation between their governments and the industry, levels of cooperation which (surely Atamanenko is aware) exists to this day.

Romanow and Doer continue to lead public lives long after retiring from office, and neither has ever once spoken out against the science of genetic engineering, nor against any of the people or companies that advance it.

Atamanenko is not required to follow Romanow and Doer’s lead, but shouldn’t he at least explain the huge disparity between his position and theirs?

It’s easy to criticize when you’re in opposition. But the important decisions are made by people in power, people like Romanow and Doer.

Mischa Popoff
Author of Is it Organic? The inside story of the organic industry
Osoyoos, B.C.