Earth Day: "New Green Alliance Calls for Ban on Genetically
Engineered Wheat Which Threatens Saskatchewan's Economy"
22 April 2003, Earth Day
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
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.