Organic Consumers Association

Ag Bureaucrats Will Get Cash for Approving Monsanto's GE Wheat in Canada

Comments by Joe Cummins, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Earlier , Monsanto offered millions to Canadian bureaucrats to allow bovine growth hormone to be approved without extensive research and evaluation. The practice of paying off bureaucrats seems to have grown so commonplace as to escape notice. The main Canadian newspapers failed to mention the bureaucratic payoffs or treated them as a laudable business deals! The US newspapers also appear to have ignored the scandalous payoffs. Europeans should be aware of the game and make sure their government bureaucrats do not suborn bribes from corporations. Agriculture Canada seems to be delaying publication of the reports showing that glyphosate herbicide, used with the GM wheat, has been implicated in Fusarium sudden death disease. Now , publication of the acknowlegement of the payoffs shows the depth of depravitry in the Minsitry.
SASK.CBC.CA News - Full Story :
Agriculture Canada could get GM wheat royalty
Last Updated: Nov 28 2003 05:53 PM CST
SASKATOON - CBC News has learned that Agriculture Canada stands to get money from the sale of Monsanto's Round-up Ready Wheat. Documents obtained by CBC reveal the government will be paid a kind of royalty from sales of the Monsanto product.

The documents obtained by CBC news reveal that Agriculture Canada has invested nearly $4 million in the development of Monsanto's product.

A portion of that royalty would be a direct cash injection, but most of it would be wages paid to Agriculture Canada researchers who have worked on the development of the genetically modified (GM) wheat and seed material.

If the wheat Agriculture Canada worked on is ever sold, the department would receive a percentage of the sales. That would amount to slightly less than five per cent.

Bradford Duplessis, a reseacher with the Canadian Health Coalition, says there is a perception of conflict in this kind of relationship.

"To have a body that is supposed to be regulating GM crops, actually reporting to the Minister responsible for promoting GM crops...obviously there is a serious and dangerous conflict of interest there," he says.

Department officials deny there is a conflict. They say the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, an arms length branch of the department, is responsible for regulation of all food products.

Industry analyst Murray Fulton says more distance is needed in the case of something as controversial as GM wheat.

"It's going to require some extra work to really make sure that this issue doesn't get played out in such a way that the public begins to lose confidence in the process itself," he warns.

Fulton said it would be better if an independent body took responsibility of regulating GM crops.

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