The Guelph Mercury reports on “a food security roundtable organized by the Guelph chapter of the Council of Canadians. …The forum, involving farm and community organizations, heard a litany of critical problems that are crippling Canada’s agricultural sector, including threats from freer trade, low returns, factory farming, environmental degradation and unfair foreign subsidies.”
– “National Farmers Union Ontario executive director Sean McGilvern (noted) Canada is destroying its agricultural base with cheap, low-profit exports that are also undermining foreign farmers…adding freer trade will only make things worse.”
– “Guelph MP Frank Valeriote said, ‘We all around this table know so many issues that need to be discussed,’ …adding one of his own: a growing global population.”
– “University of Guelph Canada research chair Evan Fraser, from the university’s geography department, …made four proposals: boost African farm productivity through biotechnology; create a global food trading system that allows specialization and diversity; promote local farming and food storage alongside an international distribution system; and encourage healthier eating and consumer-driven agriculture.”
– “U of G sociology and anthropology professor Tony Winson, who has an interest in agricultural research, said Canadian consumption of healthier foods would have positive spin-offs for the farm sector and environment. Pesticide-laden, non-organic foods need to be discouraged, Winson said.”
– “Liz Armstrong of the Wellington Water Watchers environmental group lamented the lack of a national water conservation and protection strategy. ‘We’re huge water users in Canada,’ said Armstrong. Saving it is vital to any future food policy, she added. ‘No water; no food,’ Armstrong said.”
“Notes from the discussion will be relayed to the House of Commons all-party agriculture and agribusiness committee on which Valeriote sits.”
The article is at http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/753753.