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Deconstructing Dinner: Reconstructing Our Food System
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April 15, 2010


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This episode follows up on our March 25th broadcast on Bill C-474 - a bill that is calling for changes to the process through which genetically engineered seeds are approved in Canada. The bill was supported by many groups such as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the National Farmers Union and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, and was strongly opposed by groups like the Canadian Canola Growers Association and CropLife Canada - the biotechnology and pesticide industry's trade association.

The bill was introduced by NDP Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko and is encouraging any new approvals of GE seeds to undergo an analysis of potential harm to export markets prior to their approval. With many markets around the world restricting their importation, the bill seeks to ensure global markets will remain open to Canadian farmers.

On April 14 in Canada's House of Commons, the bill received enough support for it to be sent to committee by a vote of 153-134.

This broadcast examines the next steps that this bill must now go through, and as usual, we deconstruct some more questionable remarks made by Conservative members in the House of Commons during the bill's second hour of debate on April 1. Adding to this deconstructing, we also look closer at just where this perpetual misinformation among Members of Parliament might be coming from.


Terry Boehm, president, National Farmers Union (NFU) (Allan, SK) - The National Farmers Union is the only voluntary, direct-membership national farm organization in Canada. It is also the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament (June 11, 1970). Terry farms in Allan, SK.

Wayne Easter member of parliament, Malpeque, Liberal Party of Canada (North Wiltshire, PEI) - Wayne was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and was raised on the family farm in North Wiltshire. Wayne entered politics in 1993 when he was officially elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque, P.E.I. He was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In Parliament, Wayne has served as Solicitor General of Canada, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Oceans, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food with special responsibilities for the Rural Secretariat, and is currently the Liberal Party's Opposition Critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Brian Storseth, member of parliament, Westlock-St. Paul, Conservative Party of Canada (St. Paul, AB) - Storseth sits on the Standing Committee of Agriculture & Agri-Food.

Don Davies, member of parliament, Vancouver-Kingsway, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) - Davies is the NDP's critic on Public Safety.

Alex Atamanenko, member of parliament, BC Southern Interior, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Castlegar, BC) - Atamanenko is the NDP's Critic on Agriculture & Agri-Food and Food Security. He sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food.

Musical Selection (name/title/album/label)
Theme/Soundclips - Adham Shaikh, Infusion, Fusion, Sonic Turtle (CDN)
Music - Dark Fire Cloud, Dig U Later, Unreleased (CDN label)

Read the Transcript of this broadcast

Articles/Documents/Transcripts Additional Audio
  • Terry Boehm responds to concern that Bill C-474 will "stifle development" LISTEN
  • Unedited audio of April 1, 2010 debate in Canada's House of Commons. LISTEN
  • March 15, 2010 Press Conference on Bill C-474. LISTEN
  • Unedited audio of March 17, 2010 debate in Canada's House of Commons. LISTEN
  • Francis Valeriote projects how a dialogue on C-474 might unfold in the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food if the bill is passed. Jon Steinman questioned if the partisan tone that has permeated much of the Committee's meetings throughout 2009 will get in the way. LISTEN
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