Friends of the Richelieu. A river. A passion.

"Tout cedit pays est fort uny, remply de forests, vignes & noyers. Aucuns Chrestiens n'estoient encores parvenus jusques en cedit lieu, que nous, qui eusmes assez de peine à monter le riviere à la rame. " Samuel de Champlain

"All this region is very level and full of forests, vines and butternut trees. No Christian has ever visited this land and we had all the misery of the world trying to paddle the river upstream." Samuel de Champlain

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

OGM - demande d'étiquetage et soutient au bio

Texte de la pétition

+Considérant qu'il subsiste des doutes scientifiques sur les risques pour la santé des aliments OGM;

+Considérant que les cultures d'OGM peuvent contaminer d'autres cultures sans OGM;

+Considérant que cette contamination constitue une menace à la biodiversité et qu'elle peut entraîner des pertes économiques considérables pour les agriculteurs dont les récoltes sont contaminées, notamment sur les marchés d'exportation;

+Considérant que les processus d'évaluation conduisant à l'approbation des nouveaux OGM par le gouvernement fédéral ne font pas l'objet d'une évaluation scientifique indépendante et rigoureuse;

+Considérant que les consommateurs québécois ont un droit légitime à une information complète sur leurs produits, et que tous les sondages sur le sujet indiquent qu'au moins 8 Québécois sur 10 souhaitent l'étiquetage obligatoire des OGM;

+Considérant que le Parti libéral et le Parti québécois ont fait la promesse d'instaurer l'étiquetage obligatoire des OGM;

+Considérant que cette année marque le 7e anniversaire de la publication du rapport gouvernemental québécois intitulé La se´curite´ alimentaire: Un enjeu de socie´te´, une responsabilite´ de tous les intervenants de la chaine alimentaire (2004) adopté à l'unanimité, et qui demande d'instaurer l'étiquetage obligatoire des OGM et de poursuivre l'implantation d'un système de traçabilité des aliments;

Nous, soussignés, citoyens du Québec, demandons que le gouvernement du Québec applique les recommandations de ce rapport d'ici juillet 2012, adopte un soutien substantiel à l'agriculture biologique et fasse pression sur le gouvernement fédéral pour resserrer les mesures d'approbation ainsi que de contrôle des OGM et pour instaurer un régime de responsabilité des producteurs d'OGM en cas de contamination.

Signez la pétition sur le site de l'Assemblée Nationale ici:

"Petition circulating to label all genetically modified foods

Quebec environmental groups concerned over health and environmental implications.

A group of Quebec environmental organizations have filed a petition with the provincial government to introduce the obligatory labeling of genetically modified (GMO) foods in grocery stores.

The Réseau québécois contre les OGM (RQcOGM), a network of Quebec environmental groups, wants the government to adopt proposals it put forward in a 2004 report entitled “Food Safety: A challenge for society and responsibility of all the stakeholders in the food system.”

If the government adopts the proposal, it would be the first in Canada to do so.

Charles Tanguay, director of communications for Union des Consommateurs, a non-profit Quebec union defending the rights of consumers, told The Daily, “We want to be a leader, to convince the rest of Canada it’s time for GMO labeling. It is a basic right of consumers to know.”

Thibault Rehn, a volunteer with RQcOGM, explained that Canada is the fourth largest GMO producer in the world, after Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.

The Health Canada website states that “Every new GM food product must undergo a rigorous pre-market safety assessment before it is allowed to be sold in Canada… No GM food is allowed on the market in Canada unless Health Canada’s scientists are satisfied that the food is safe and nutritious.” In spite of this, Rehn said that it is possible for some foods to go undetected.

Although Canada produces mainly GMO corn, soy and canola, Rehn explained that GMO produce is also used to make products such as corn syrup, which is then used in multiple other products that the consumer is unaware of.

The proposal also calls for better inspection and regulation of GMO foods due to the unknown effects of growing and consuming such foods.

“There is more and more evidence that there could be consequences from GMOs that could be underestimated,” said Tanguay. He cited a study from Sherbrooke University Hospital that found Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) – a pesticide used to genetically modify corn, making it pest resistant – in women’s blood. The researchers also discovered that the toxin could be passed through fetal blood.

David Szanto, a Concordia PhD student who teaches a course on food systems, explained that “Since we have been domesticating plants and animals we have been genetically modifying them, but GMOs created in a laboratory are much more recent. Part of the fear and the risk is that we do not know the long term effects.”

The petition also raises concerns over the contamination of non-GMO crops and the subsequent threat to biodiversity.

“We feel there is a lack of regulation of GMO crops that can lead to contamination of non-GMO [crops],” said Rehn. “There is no liability when such contamination occurs.”

Szanto stated a similar concern over cross-contamination. “Unlike chemical or nuclear waste, which degrades over time, biological waste actually multiplies,” he said.

“GMOs go into the environment, cross pollinate with non-GMO foods and then reproduce,” he continued.

“This is really showing us that you can’t fool around with nature without a chain reaction that could get out of control,” said Tanguay. “It’s changing the nature of things and we are very worried.”

The petition calls for proposed changes to be adopted by the Quebec government by July 2012."

Excertps from article written by Jordan Venton-Rublee published in The McGill Daily here:

and in the USA:

"Groups petition FDA to require labeling of GMO food

* Legal petition is first step toward lawsuit

* 200 organizations supporting labeling demand

* Monsanto sweet corn targeted for boycott

By Carey Gillam

Oct 4 (Reuters) - The Center for Food Safety said Tuesday
it has filed a legal petition with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration seeking mandatory labeling for foods made from
genetically engineered crops, a move long opposed by big
biotech companies.

"They should label the foods and let consumers know. This
carte blanche they've been giving the industry is not
acceptable," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the
Center for Food Safety (CFS), in an interview.

"There are novel ingredients in the food that have never
been there before," he said.

The legal action by CFS requires a formal response from the
FDA and is the first step toward ultimately filing a lawsuit
against the government agency to try to force labeling,
Kimbrell said. CFS, a consumer advocacy organization, has filed
several lawsuits against the government in recent years and
successfully stymied approvals of some biotech crops.

There are thousands of unlabeled items on grocery store
shelves that contain at least traces of genetically altered
corn, soybeans and other crops. The government is also
considering approval of a genetically altered salmon.

In the summer, biotech crop developer Monsanto Co. (MON.N)
introduced a new sweet corn for consumers that is genetically
altered to make it toxic to insects and able to withstand
treatments of chemical herbicides.

The CFS and the Center for Environmental Health have been
calling on food companies that make frozen and/or canned corn
to boycott the new corn, which is not labeled as genetically

The action against FDA by CFS is backed by a coalition of
more than 200 organizations that include representatives of the
healthcare industry, consumer advocates, environmentalists,
food and farming organizations, businesses, and faith-based

In addition to the legal petition, the coalition also
launched a website petition campaign on Tuesday to encourage
consumers to pressure the FDA on the labeling issue. The
coalition argues that many other developed countries such as
the 15 nations in the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil,
Russia and China, have laws requiring labeling of genetically
engineered foods. A majority of U.S. consumers wants such
labeling as well, according to polls.

The FDA had no immediate comment on the legal petition, but
a spokesman said previous court decisions have found that the
agency does not have the authority to require labeling on the
basis of consumer interest alone.

Opponents of biotech crops have for years sought labeling
on such foods but Monsanto and other biotech seed companies
have opposed labeling, saying the crops and foods made from
them are indistinguishable from non-GMO foods in composition,
nutrition and safety.

"The safety and benefits of genetically modified crops are
well established," said Monsanto spokesman Thomas Helscher.
"All of the products being grown by farmers in the U.S. have
been reviewed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. The safety has been confirmed by national food safety
agencies like FDA and counterparts agencies in other countries,
as well as international public health institutions like the
World Health Organization."

The CFS legal petition alleges that the "absence of
mandatory labeling disclosures for GE (genetically engineered)
foods is misleading to consumers," and says the "requested
actions are necessary to prevent economic fraud, and to protect
consumers who are deceived by thinking the absence of labeling
means the absence of GE foods."
(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City and Alina Selyukh
in Washington; Editing by Andrea Evans)"


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