FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Deconstructing Dinner earns silver at the CFWF awards in Winnipeg
(Nelson, British Columbia, October 2, 2006) - The unappetizing name of a technology that is possibly destined for the global food supply has surfaced once again during an awards ceremony sponsored by the agricultural industry's most influential companies.
On February 9, 2006, a Nelson, British Columbia-based radio program aired a critical analysis of Terminator technology, a genetically modified approach to food that the industry refers to as Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT). While not yet approved, Terminator technology refers to plants that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds at harvest. GURTs will prevent farmers from saving their seeds for the following season and thereby force them to return to the seed market each year.
Kootenay Co-op Radio's Deconstructing Dinner is often critical of the very companies who sponsored the awards, but that didn't stop the radio program from earning Silver at the annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation (CFWF).
Deconstructing Dinner is heard weekly on not-for-profit radio stations coast to coast, and is heightening the image of a radio sector dominated by commercial interests and the CBC. As a member of the National Campus/Community Radio Association (NCRA), Kootenay Co-op Radio (CJLY) has been producing a number of nationally syndicated radio programs including Canadian Voices, a public affairs series featuring notable Canadian speakers.
Held on September 16th in Winnipeg, 42 awards were presented at the CFWF conference, with a total of $7,900 in prize money going to the winners. Winning entries were selected by a panel of 26 judges from across Canada and the U.S., including journalism professors and editors from mainstream publications - agricultural and non-agricultural.
The Radio News Reporting category was sponsored by industry giant, Bayer CropScience, who, based on 2004 figures, is the world's largest agrochemical company and sits as the 8th largest seed company. Bayer controls a large segment of the canola seed market in Canada and has faced many legal battles over their controversial practices here and abroad. Deconstructing Dinner's one-hour exposť of the technology was quite critical of the industry's aggressive push to see Terminator approved.
Additional categories at the 2006 CFWF awards were also sponsored by companies involved with the genetic modification of food. They included Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and Cargill.
The unofficial name of Terminator seed technology certainly does not instill warm feelings, and the Ottawa-based Ban Terminator campaign sees no reason why it should. As a project of the ETC Group, campaign coordinator Lucy Sharratt was one of a handful of guests interviewed on the award-winning broadcast.
Titled "Sterile Seeds", the broadcast has now aired on a number of radio stations throughout Canada, and along with the show's web site, has been circulating around the globe as a significant multimedia resource on the topic.
Jon Steinman, the Producer/Host of Deconstructing Dinner, was also joined by Harry Collins of the Mississippi-based Delta and Pine Land Company (DPL), who in 1998, along with the US Department of Agriculture, developed and patented the technology. The company was just recently acquired by Monsanto in August of this year, but not before DPL acquired Syngenta's global cottonseed business in May. As Monsanto seeks to control more and more of the global food supply, the St. Louis-based company now has a significant stake in the foundation of clothing.
The Sterile Seeds broadcast also heard from Terry Boehm, Vice-President of the Saskatchewan-based National Farmers' Union (NFU), and from Devlin Kuyek, a Montreal-based researcher working on the staff of GRAIN, an international non-governmental organization.
Each week on Deconstructing Dinner, Jon Steinman explores the impacts our food choices have on ourselves, our communities and our planet. As Steinman often stresses, "Every one of us eats, and food seems to be the logical starting point from which we can better understand our individual footprint on this fragile planet."
The February 9th broadcast can be heard on the Deconstructing Dinner web site - www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner.
For more information, contact:
Jon Steinman, Producer/Host
|Read the CFWF Press Release|
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