Updated: Mar 14
The Non-GMO Project is sounding the alarm as the Canadian government is trying to rid itself of genetically modified food oversight and regulations, measures that will effectively eliminate organic food altogether in the country of Canada.
Organic food is products free of artifical food additives, grown or raised using natural farming methods, free of steroids and hormones, and void of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and inorganic feed. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-organic-food)
A genetically modified organism, or GMO, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. (https://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/what-is-gmo/)
This has been done numerous times to make different vegetables more resilient to cold weather, resistant to pests, and to produce greater yields, etc. It has also been done to make crops that produce their own pesticides.
This sounds great in theory, but genetically modified foods have been found to cause more harm than good.
One study found that rats fed for two years with Monsanto’s glyphosate-resistant NK603 maize (GMO corn) developed many more tumors and died earlier than controls. It also found that the rats developed tumors when glyphosate (Roundup), the herbicide used with GM maize, was added to their drinking water. (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/study-linking-genetically-modified-corn-to-cancer/)
Some of the proposed changes to the oversight and regulations of genetically modified organisms are as follows:
The proposals would not change the regulations themselves, but would make significant changes to the “regulatory guidance” that is used to interpret and implement existing regulations.
The proposals would exempt most genetically engineered products that have no foreign DNA from regulation. Most or all of these products will be developed using the new genetic engineering techniques of genome editing, commonly called gene editing. The changes are not a blanket exemption for genome edited products per se, but the outcome will be a broad exemption.
The proposals would change government risk assessments for the safety of foods from genetically engineered plants as well as the environmental safety of genetically engineered seeds (including trees). These changes will be followed by changes to risk assessment for foods from genetically engineered animals and the environmental safety of genetically engineered animals and other GM organisms. The current proposed changes are just the beginning.
The full list of proposed changes has been made available by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) via this downloadable PDF: https://cban.ca/wp-content/uploads/CBAN-Summary-of-Proposals-Nov-2021-3.pdf
On top of the older style of genetically modified organisms, gene-edited plants and animals is the new inorganic, unnatural type of food that is beginning to rear it's head across the world.
For more information on gene-edited food, the Non-GMO Project has shared this great article about this issue by Rabble that I implore you to read as they explain it better than I could. (https://rabble.ca/columnists/gene-editing-is-next-chapter-in-food-controversy/)
Will organic food begin to disappear in Canada? If it does, growing your own food may become the only way to ensure that you have access to organic, non-geneticially modified food.