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Contact your Minister of Education to oppose a webinar promoting a GM apple to students

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The Council of Canadians is joining with allies the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), Kids Right to Know, and Earth Action PEI to alert teachers, students and parents about a webinar on Tuesday March 7 aimed at high school students to promote a genetically modified (GM) apple.

The webinar, part of an ‘Agriculture in the Classroom’ public relations program, would be presented by Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ Marketing and Communications Specialist Jessica Brady and focus on their genetically-modified non-browning Arctic Apple. That BC-based company is now owned by US biotechnology company Intrexon.

CBC reports, “The Council of Canadians is raising concerns about an information session on food that is planned to be shown in high school classrooms across Canada on Tuesday. Leo Broderick, vice-chair of the organization, is calling on ministers of education in eight provinces, including P.E.I., to pull the webinar Trashing Food Waste with Technology. Broderick doesn’t like that the webinar’s sponsors include several major seed and pesticide producers, and also features a genetically modified apple.”

Broderick says, “Certainly, I don’t think that we should be filling up our classrooms with corporate propaganda. This is simply a takeover of a special time when we should be concentrating during agriculture awareness month on another perspective on the future of farming in Canada. So, we’re making people aware [about this webinar]. And, I think it’s important that we have another perspective [like organic farming] and that we not promote through our classrooms across the country genetically engineered food.”

The contact information for the provincial and territorial ministers of education is as follows:

British Columbia – andrew.wilkinson.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Yukon – Tracy.McPhee@gov.yk.ca

Alberta – ae.minister@gov.ab.ca

Manitoba – minedu@leg.gov.mb.ca

Saskatchewan – minister.edu@gov.sk.ca

Northwest Territories – ecepublicaffairs@gov.nt.ca

Ontario – minister.edu@ontario.ca

Quebec – ministre.education@education.gouv.qc.ca

Nunavut – info.edu@gov.nu.ca

Nova Scotia – educmin@novascotia.ca

New Brunswick – edcommunication@gnb.ca

Prince Edward Island – dwcurrie@gov.pe.ca

Newfoundland & Labrador – dalekirby@gov.nl.ca

Please e-mail your provincial Minister of Education today to tell them that this webinar is unacceptable.

To read the joint Canadian Biotechnology Action Network media release on this issue, please click here.