Safe crops

Re: Lumby digs into potential plant ban, The Morning Star, May 20.

Re: Lumby digs into potential plant ban, The Morning Star, May 20.

Contrary to Huguette Allen’s belief, farmers choose to grow GM crops because they offer meaningful benefits such as increased yields and environmentally sustainable production methods.

Farmers and consumers benefit from genetically modified crops and they’re safe.

GM crops 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 of plant biotechnology are safe for people, animals, plants and the environment.

In fact, over a trillion meals containing plant biotechnology products have been consumed to date and there’s been not one single report of any ill effect as a result.

The reality is that biotech crops are a crucial component of agriculture today and they hold even greater promise for the future especially when you consider how they can bring health benefits to consumers by eliminating or reducing trans-fats; enhancing vitamin and antioxidant levels in fruits and vegetables and preventing blindness caused by nutritional deficiency in developing countries by increasing the amount of Vitamin A in rice.

The fact of the matter is different regulations across Canada in various provinces and counties for genetically modified crops would make it even more difficult for farmers to market their products, especially when these same products have been deemed safe by our federal regulators who employ scientists whose expertise and jobs are to verify the safety of Canada’s food system.

Biotech crops are federally regulated and have been proven safe to eat. If consumers want to avoid foods derived from GM crops, buy foods that are labeled organic. However, they may miss out on the many benefits this technology has to offer.

Lorne Hepworth

President, CropLife Canada