Sixteen Council of Canadians chapters contacted their Member of Parliament and/or encouraged others to do the same today in advance of the 5:30 pm ET vote on Bill C-291, legislation supporting the mandatory labelling of genetically modified (GM) foods.
The outcome of the vote that happened this past hour - 61 in favour of mandatory labelling, 216 against mandatory labelling.
In the absence of labelling, the Council of Canadians joins with the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) and other groups who are now calling on major retailers to pledge not to sell the newly approved GM salmon, GM apple and GM potato. The world’s first GM food animal – a GM Atlantic salmon - could be sold in Canada as early as 2018. A GM apple and GM potato have also recently been approved in Canada, but are not yet being sold on grocery store shelves.
The chapters that took action today were:
Atlantic - Kent County, Inverness County, North Shore
Ontario-Quebec - Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Guelph, South Niagara, Quinte, Peterborough-Kawarthas, Montreal
Prairies - Medicine Hat, Brandon-Westman, Blood Tribe
Pacific - Comox Valley, Victoria, Powell River
The Council of Canadians has been supporting the call for the mandatory labelling of GM food since May 1998.
We supported Liberal MP Charles Caccia's private members bill C-287, legislation that would have made the labelling of genetically modified food in Canada mandatory. That legislation was opposed by then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien and defeated in a House of Commons vote in October 2001.
64 countries around the world have mandatory labelling in place.