GPS Opposes GE Wheat as threat to Sask economy
Press Release

Earth Day: "New Green Alliance Calls for Ban on Genetically Engineered Wheat Which Threatens Saskatchewan's Economy"

22 April 2003, Earth Day
Regina, Saskatchewan

The NEW GREEN ALLIANCE calls on the provincial government of Saskatchewan to do more to stop the introduction of Genetically Engineered Wheat into the province. Neil Sinclair, the NGA biotechnology critic, stated "nothing good can come from the release of Genetically Engineered Wheat into the Saskatchewan farm economy. Markets will be lost costing farm families millions of dollars in lost sales. Nobody except Monsanto wants Roundup Ready wheat released." The Canadian Wheat Board has spoken against GE Wheat, and has support from twelve farm groups in western Canada. The CWB states that 82 percent of their international customer base would quit buying any Canadian Western Red Spring Wheat if GE Wheat is released on the market.

For a plant or animal to be genetically engineered, genes are transferred or modified, which changes the DNA. Biotechnology giant Monsanto is currently researching Roundup Ready Wheat, which has a gene inserted that allows the plant to tolerate several applications of Roundup herbicide glyphosate.

The New Green Alliance shares the concerns of farmers and consumers on the issue of GE Wheat. "There are several serious questions on the issue of genetic engineering that require unbiased answers", NGA President Neal Anderson stated. "We need to know more information from independent researchers, not from Monsanto, which is in a conflict of interest. We need to know to what extent GE plants can cross-pollinate and pollute non-GE plants, and a full and transparent economic analysis that will show the public what is at stake for Saskatchewan's farm economy" says Anderson. "We need labeling of GE ingredients on the foods for sale in stores, and we need to take a strong stand against policies that will cause disaster for farm families and communities." In 2001, the members at the Annual General Meeting of the New Green Alliance passed a resolution calling for a ban on the introduction of GE Wheat.

The NGA calls on the Saskatchewan Government to use its legislative power to stop Genetically Engineered Wheat. Under existing legislation, GE wheat could be labeled a noxious weed and banned provincially. To do otherwise risks economic suicide for Saskatchewan's farm economy.