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Letters – for Dec. 16, 2010

“Silent” purchasing public speaks up

Just a quick comment on the 10,000-plus signatures submitted by the Winnipeg Humane Society to Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. I’ve seen several comments over the months on polls and surveys from various producer groups that say that it is only special-interest animal-welfare groups that really care about change. Well there is absolutely no way that the membership for all the groups in Manitoba totals 10,000.

Before we started our group, I volunteered for the WHS Quit Stalling campaign and spent a beautiful summer morning at The Forks one Saturday. Let me state clearly that not all the signatures were from Winnipeggers; there are many, many signatures from visitors outside the city, from around the province who signed this petition.

So we have 10,000 people in Manitoba who want to see a change, perhaps producers will take the “silent” purchasing public a little more seriously now?

Leslie Yeoman, Member, The Humane Education

Network, 106 Lipton Street, Winnipeg, MB. R3G 2G7. MSER: 391944678

It won’t harm human health?

Reading Lorne Hepworth’s letter of Dec. 2 issue re low-level GM presence policy (re Bill C-474), I couldn’t help but respond. It is a shame that so many organizations listed in the letter were in favour of developing some form of low-level presence of GM seed contamination of non-GM seeds. I am sure if there was a policy developed along these lines, it wouldn’t be to the non-GM farmer’s benefit.

It is a farce to say that farmers will remain competitive on the global stage while protecting human health and the environment. I haven’t seen any biotechnology that has favoured farmers, consumers or the hungry. If anything, it only further increases the problems of hunger.

But what really got my ire was the idea of protecting human health and environment.

1) There hasn’t been enough long-term testing to prove that GM won’t harm human health or environment.

2) Have you ever been in the presence of a child who is allergic to peanuts? The child doesn’t even have to eat a peanut; the very presence of peanut residue on a parent’s lips or child’s fingers can trigger a reaction. So how do you know that one seed that contaminates non-GM seed is not going to cause an allergic reaction?

3) Farmers do not need the added worry of losing markets because of contamination of GM seed or the threat of losing their farms because of cross-contamination.

Planning a low-level GM presence policy is only allowing for the slippery slope of more contamination.

Marcella Pedersen

Cut Knife, Sask.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected] (subject: To the editor)

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