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Letters — for 2012-11-22 00:00:00

CGC legislation debated many times

I would like to correct the many inaccuracies contained in a recent Manitoba Co-operator article about our government’s Safe Food for Canadian Act (S-11) and changes to the Canadian Grain Act (CGA).

Let me start by first assuring readers that when it comes to food safety, the health of Canadians is our government’s top priority.

Bill S-11 is an important piece of legislation that modernizes Canada’s already world-class food safety system.

To say that S-11 has been rushed through Parliament does not match the facts. This legislation has been debated numerous times in both the Senate and the House of Commons. S-11 has been studied in both the Senate and House of Commons agriculture committees for over 20 hours during which 46 witnesses appeared (including the minister of agriculture on two occasions). Both the Senate and House agriculture committees have done their due diligence in their study S-11.

Going forward we will work with stakeholders to ensure that the regulations support them as they work to produce safe food.

Finally, regarding the changes our government is making to the Canada Grains Act, these changes will further modernize Canada’s grain industry and were expected by industry stakeholders. The changes have already been studied by the House of Commons agriculture committee and are now in the Senate agriculture Committee for further review.

Pierre Lemieux, MP

Parliamentary secretary to the minister of agriculture

Don’t use Tordon in ditches

Regarding the Nov. 8 article, “Concerns raised about Tordon sprayed in ditches,” by Allan Dawson, the question that I ask is “Where is the justification and common sense, of spraying this ‘poison’ along country roadsides to control spurge and unwanted weeds?” There isn’t any.

This is a deadly substance. It was used during the Vietnam War (known as Agent White with 2,4-D) in areas where Agent Orange was unsuccessful.

Tordon, a trade name for picloram is the most persistent of its family of herbicides. It does not adhere to soil and so may leach to groundwater, and has in fact been detected there.

Anyone who uses manure as fertilizer should check to make certain that the animal sourcehas not grazed on picloram-treated hay, as the manure stillhas killing potential to broadleaf plants.

Why are we so eager to repeat the mistakes and lessons of the past? Haven’t we learned anything? Apparently not.

John Fefchak

Virden, Man.

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