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9-Misc: Yes to GMO-free zones - Say 58% of Canadians and 62% of PEI residents

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TITLE:  Yes to GMO-FREE ZONES - Say 58% of Canadians and 62% of PEI residents
SOURCE: Greenpeace Canada
DATE:   30 Mar 2005

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Yes to GMO-FREE ZONES - Say 58% of Canadians and 62% of PEI residents

While the government of Prince-Edward Island (PEI) continues public
hearings to make the Island a GMO-Free Zone, two surveys (1) released
today by Greenpeace show that a GMO-Free PEI, has wide approval in Canada
and Quebec.

"Once you re-distribute the undecided respondents, 58% of Canadians and
62% of PEI residents said they want their Province to be declared a GMO-
Free Zone. In Quebec, support for the GMO-Free Zone reaches as high 64%.
These percentages are surprising because as of yet there has been no
widespread campaigns or public debates on this subject" said Eric Darier,
Greenpeace GMO Campaigner.

"In PEI, the proportion of undecided respondents is only 14%, whereas
this figure is almost twice as high (27%) elsewhere in Canada. Given the
political debate currently taking place in PEI the only conclusion is
that the more people know about GMOs, the less they want them," added
Darier "To further illustrate the point the percentage of undecided
respondents in this survey from Quebec is also low (17%), likely because
of the public hearing held in 2004 by the Commission sur l'Agriculture,
les pêcheries et l'alimentation (CAPA)."

The movement for GMO-Free Zones is picking up speed everywhere in the
world. In Europe, more than 100 regions and 3500 municipalities are now
GMO-Free Zones. Last January, the movement adopted the Berlin Manifesto
for GMO-free Regions and Biodiversity in Europe (2). In the United
States, many counties (the equivalent of MRCs in Quebec), in California,
Hawaii, Vermont and Maine among others, have decided to become or are in
the process of becoming GMO-Free Zones. In a poll held in 2004, 56% of
voters in Mendocino County, California agreed to turn their county into a
GMO-Free Zone. In British Columbia, the City of Powell River is now a
"genetically engineered free crop zone".

Part of the popular support for GMO-Free Zones results from the citizens
frustrations towards the pro-GMO positions adopted by upper levels of
government. In April 2004, the Federal Government adopted a "voluntary"
labelling policy on GMOs. Until now, despite an overwhelming 83% of
Canadians wanting mandatory GMO labelling (3), we have yet to find a
single product with a "Contains GMO" label on it. In Quebec, Jean
Charest's Liberal Party has promised mandatory GMO labelling but has so
far failed to follow through on the promise," concluded Darier.


1. by Léger Marketing and Corporate Research Associates in Moncton.


(3) Léger Marketing survey, April 2004.

For complete survey results, visit:


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
In den Steinäckern 13
D - 38116 Braunschweig

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