Environmental campaigners Greenpeace condemned the Canadian Federal government this week for ignoring the health and environmental concerns raised by an independent panel of scientific and regulatory experts.
At the request of the Government of Canada, an expert panel convened by the Royal Society of Canada issued a report analysing the regulatory system for GE food. ). Its "Action Plan" was released this month.
"Ottawa's so-called Action Plan is nothing but a whitewash," said Dr. Eric Darier, Genetic Engineering campaigner for Greenpeace.
"Instead of fixing a broken regulatory system for food biotechnology inCanada, Ottawa continues to ignore, lie, deny and delay with promises offurther studies and revamped public relations materials, " he continued.
Greenpeace criticised the Action Plan on several points including: a claim in the Action Plan that the RSC report Elements of Precaution "does not raise concerns about the safety ofGM-foods currently in the marketplace" (p. 2), despite, according Greenpeace, doing so; a false claim, Greenpeace maintains, to use the precautionary principle in assessing health andenvironmental risk (p. 5) despite a track record showing otherwise and finally, the government's "pretence" of taking care to "maintain" its "objectiveand neutral stance about the risks and benefits of biotechnology" (p. 5)despite its pro-biotech policies, including criticism by the RSC thatregulators have a dual and conflicting mandate to both promote and regulatebiotechnology.
The report entitled "Action Plan of the Government of Canada inresponse to the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel ReportElements of Precaution: Recommendations for the Regulation of FoodBiotechnology in Canada" is available at