June 19, 2013
Sample Letter- Support Bill C-474
You can write to the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gerry Ritz: RitzG@parl.gc.ca
You can also write to the Members of the House of Commons Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food:
Larry Miller (Conservative) – MilleL@parl.gc.ca
André Bellavance (Bloc) – BellaA@parl.gc.ca
Mark Eyking – EykinM@parl.gc.ca
Alex Atamanenko (NDP - Bill C-474 sponsor!) – Atamaa@parl.gc.ca
France Bonsant – BonsaF@parl.gc.ca
Hon. Wayne Easter (Liberal Ag Critic) – EasteW@parl.gc.ca
Randy Hoback – HobacR@parl.gc.ca
Pierre Lemieux – LemieP@parl.gc.ca
Blake Richards – RichaB@parl.gc.ca
Bev Shipley – ShiplB@parl.gc.ca
Brian Storseth – StorsB@parl.gc.ca
Francis Valeriote (Liberal) – ValerF@parl.gc.ca
Here is the Sample Letter:
I am writing to ask you to support Private Members Bill C-474 and ensure that there is a thorough debate in the Agriculture Committee on this Bill.
The Bill would support Canadian farmers by requiring that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.”
This Bill is really important because, as we know from experience, the introduction of new genetically engineered (GE) crops can cause economic hardship to farmers.
Farmers are at risk when GE crops are commercialized in Canada without also being first approved in our major export markets.
Flax farmers in Canada are now paying the price for this exact problem. Late last year, Canadian flax exports were discovered contaminated with a GE flax that is not approved in Europe or any of our other export markets.
Flax farmers actually foresaw that GE contamination or even the threat of contamination would close their export markets. This is why they took steps in 2001 to remove GE flax from the market. Despite this measure, flax farmers were not protected.
The GE flax contamination has created market uncertainty and depressed prices. Farmers are also paying for testing and cleanup and may be required to abandon their own farm-saved flax seed and buy certified seed instead. These costs are an unnecessary and preventable burden.
We cannot allow our export markets to close like this again. It is the government’s responsibility to protect Canadian farmers from predictable problems caused by the introduction of new GE crops that have not yet been regulated in our export markets.
Please support Bill C-474 and protect Canada’s farmers and our markets.
CC: Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture; Alex Atamanenko, NDP Agriculture Critic; Hon. Wayne Easter, Liberal Agriculture Critic; André Bellavance, Bloc Québécois Agriculture Critic