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6-Regulation: Canadian farmers call for GE wheat moratorium

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TITLE:  Farmers taking GM fight to Ottawa
SOURCE: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - Saskatoon
DATE:   May 12, 2003

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Farmers taking GM fight to Ottawa

SASKATOON - A group of prairie farmers plans to take concerns about
genetically modified (GM) wheat to Ottawa. They are seeking a moratorium
on the product until their concerns are met.

"We will be telling them a moratorium should be put on the registration
of GM wheat..." - Neal Hardy Saskatchewan farmers say that if Ottawa
doesn't listen, and markets are lost, someone should have to pay for
those losses. The Canadian Wheat Board claims that more than 80 per cent
of its customers won't buy genetically modified wheat. The board and some
farm groups say if Ottawa approves Monsanto's application to introduce
its Roundup Ready wheat, the whole industry will suffer.

They will take that message to the Senate's Agriculture Committee in
Ottawa early next month. Neal Hardy, the President of the Saskatchewan
Association of Rural Municipalities, says his group will have a clear
message for the committee.

"We will be telling them a moratorium should be put on the registration
of GM wheat until such time as the market accepts it or there are ways to
keep it separate," says Hardy.

He has no problem with the science of GM wheat, saying that someday it
will be accepted in the marketplace. Until then he says someone should
have to pay if GM wheat is approved, and farmers lose markets as a result
of the move.

"If you're going to allow it out there, we need to have something in
legislation or regulations that protects the rest of us from getting it
contaminated into our product that we don't want to grow. And who is
going to be responsible," Hardy says.

He describes it as sort of a liability clause. Under the current rules,
federal officials look at food safety issues when assessing Monsanto's
application, not market acceptance.