Letter to the Editor: In defence of GM crops

Canadians have access to one of the safest and most abundant food supplies in the world.

Dear Editor:

Re: “Raising GMO awareness” in the The Valley Echo (July 25, 2012). Canadians have access to one of the safest and most abundant food supplies in the world. A recent article in The Valley Echo said council will look at more information on genetically modified (GM) crops. This is a good thing, especially since the article contained a significant amount of misinformation that must be corrected for readers.

What readers should know is that all crops, including crops that have been genetically modified, are subject to Canada’s strict regulatory standards which ensure that Canadians have access to one of the safest food supplies in the world. Extensive safety reviews are completed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada to ensure all products are safe for people, animals, plants and the environment before any of these crops are approved. GM crops enjoy a remarkable food safety record, having been cultivated for well over a decade and eaten by billions of people worldwide. In fact, regulatory agencies around the world, as well as highly regarded international organizations like the World Health Organization, have all endorsed the safety of GM crops. When it comes to farmers, they overwhelmingly choose to grow genetically improved varieties of corn, canola, soybeans, and other crops due to the numerous benefits they offer such as increased yields, environmental sustainability and — contrary to what was suggested in the article — no tomatoes contain fish genes, and no GM crops contain any so called “terminator” traits. GM crops are just one example of modern agricultural solutions that are federally regulated and have been proven safe to eat. If consumers want to avoid foods derived from GM crops, they can buy foods that are labelled organic.

Lorne Hepworth

President, CropLife Canada