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Saving Seed A Farmer’s Right

NDP agriculture critic Alex Atamanenko has reintroduced a Private Member’s Bill from the last Parliament to ban “terminator seed technology” in Canada.

Bill C-353, the Terminator Seed Ban Act, aims to protect the right of Canadian farmers to save and reuse seeds by banning the release, sale, importation and use of Variety Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (V-GURTs). More commonly known as “Terminator,” these seeds are genetically engineered to be sterile after the first harvest. The promoters of this technology do not make the claim that there will be any agronomic benefits to farmers.

“We share the conviction that Canada should join the ranks of countries like India and Brazil, whose governments have already legislated bans on this technology in order to protect their farmers,” said Atamanenko. “Our government needs to make the commitment to our farmers and to the international community that terminator seeds will not be allowed to take root in Canada.”

Since 2005, the federal government has been working against global consensus on banning “Terminator.” It does not recognize the current moratorium and says it will assess the technology on a case-by-case basis, Atamanenko said.

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