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Opposition to GE Wheat Builds in Canada

1. Groups want Ottawa to say "no" to GM wheat
2. Farmers, Greenpeace Launch Anti-GM Wheat Ads

CBC Saskatchewan (Canada)
Mar 20 2004 09:56 AM

Groups want Ottawa to say "no" to GM wheat

REGINA - A number of environmental and farm groups have launched a
newspaper advertising campaign on the dangers of genetically modified wheat.
They're calling on farmers to lobby Ottawa.

Pat Venditti of Greenpeace Canada says the impact of introducing Monsanto's
GM wheat into the country could be devastating.

"We believe that the release of Roundup Ready wheat would be economically
unsound and environmentally unsound," says Venditti.

"We do not believe that this can be a decision left up to the company. We
believe the government must take a proactive role in prtecting the interests
of the environment and of producers and say 'no' to Roundup Ready wheat."

The National Farmers Union, the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate and
Canadian Organic Growers are also behind the ads.

They will appear in both the Regina Leader-Post and the Saskatoon

However, The Western Producer has refused to run the ads because of some the
groups involved.

Canada News Wire
21 mars 2004

Farmers, Greenpeace Launch Anti-GM Wheat Ads
Western Producer Refuses to Run Ad

REGINA, March 19 /CNW/ - Greenpeace, the National Farmers Union, the
Saskatchewan Organic Directorate and the Canadian Organic Growers today
announced the launch of an advertising campaign aimed at ending the proposed
commercialization of Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready
wheat, and criticized the Western Producer for refusing to run the ad.
The print advertisement states "The Greatest Threat to Wheat Farming
Isn't Hail or Drought. It's Roundup Ready(TM) Wheat" and requests that
farmers contact Western Liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, or Minister
Responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board Reg Alcock to express their
opposition to GM wheat. The ad will run in the Ottawa Hill Times on Monday,
March 22nd and in the Farmers Independent Weekly and the Saskatoon Star
Phoenix on March 25th. Space has also been booked in the Regina Leader Post
on March 25th. The Western Producer, the largest farm paper in Western Canada,
indicated yesterday that they are refusing to run the ad.

"Monsanto has made it clear that they will not back off GM wheat, so we
believe it is up to the federal government to reject it," said Pat Venditti,
Greenpeace Canada GE Campaigner. "By failing to say no to this product, the
Liberal government is putting the economy and the environment in this
country in jeopardy. We are disappointed that the Western Producer is refusing to
print the ad given the importance of this issue."

"The National Farmers Union is extremely concerned about the possible
introduction of GM wheat and the impact it will have on farmers," said
Darrin Qualman, National Farmers Union Director of Research. "We are hoping that
these ads will help to mobilize farmers to challenge the government in the
run-up to the federal election. Ottawa needs to know that farmers do not
support GM wheat."

Greenpeace, the NFU, SOD and COG are not alone in their concerns.
Yesterday, the Canadian Wheat Board released information showing that
87 per cent of Canada's wheat customers now require guarantees that they are
not getting genetically modified wheat. As well, a poll conducted by Decima
research for Greenpeace in March, 2003 showed that 60% of Canadians would
avoid products made with GM wheat. Over 90% of Canadians polled have
consistently stated they want labels on foods containing GM ingredients.
"The government is talking a lot about protecting farmers - let's see
them act," said Arnold Taylor of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate.

"GM wheat should be stopped in its tracks and that's what this advertising
campaign is all about. If the Liberals want support in the West, they need
to say no to Roundup Ready wheat."

"Genetically modified crops like Roundup Ready wheat are a real threat
to the livelihoods of organic producers," said Barb Bell of Canadian Organic
Growers. "We say no to Roundup Ready wheat."

Copies of the ad will be available at the press conference.

For further information: Pat Venditti, Greenpeace GE Campaigner, cell:
(416) 450-2439; Darrin Qualman, Director of Research, National Farmers
Union, (306) 492-4714; Arnold Taylor, President, Saskatchewan Organic Directorate,
(306) 252-2783; Barb Bell, Canadian Organic Growers, (306) 543-1146