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Corporate control of seeds and crops: the consequences for farmers and food safety in Canada

Presented by: ECOS and Biofreedom

Andrew Rushmere, Alberta Youth Advisory Committee member of the National Farmers Union.
Lorelei Hanson, assistant professor of environmental studies and human geography at
Athabasca University.
Lucero Mariani, Biofreedom member.

Thursday, March 10, 12 pm, University OF Alberta, in South Education Building, room
165 (For a map: http://www.campusmap.ualberta.ca/)

Andrew will be discussing the CFIA Proposed amendment to plant breeder
rights act. 'That amendment will increase corporate concentration in the
seed industry and limit right of Canadian farmers in their ability to use
their own seeds. It will be detrimental to all Canadians' says Andrew
Rushmere, one of the panelists and Alberta Youth Advisory Committee member
of the National Farmers Union.

Dr. Hanson will discuss canola production and some of the implications of GM
canola on Canadian prairie consumers, farmers and the land.

Lucero Mariani will be talking about Biofreedom's campaign for mandatory
labeling of GM food. Lucero Mariani will also voice strong concerns about
the tentative by Canadian negotiators to lift the current international ban
on Terminator Technology which happened last February in an international
conference in Bakok. She'll be also moderating the discussion.

"Canadians deserve to know what is in their food", says Biofreedom member
Lucero Mariani. "Ninety percent of Canadians want mandatory labeling of GMO
food, but instead the Canadian government is listening to the giant
agro-chemical corporations that are lobbying against mandatory labeling,"
adds Mariani. "Terminator technology was developed by the US government and
the seed industry to prevent farmers from replanting saved seed. It is
considered the most controversial and immoral agricultural application of
genetic engineering to date."

Biographies

Andrew Rushmere, is the Alberta Youth Advisory Committee representant for
the Prairies of the National Farmers Union, an organization that firmly
believes in an environmentally sound, socially just and economically stable
agriculture. He is originally from London, Ontario, and has recently
completed a B.A. (Honours) in Development Studies and Human Geograpy from
Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Andrew was in the board of Ontario
Public Interest Research Group during his university years. Andrew is
currently working at a small market garden north of Camrose and enjoying the
chance to be immersed in rural cultures and issues. He is increasingly
coming to appreciate the incredible work that goes into creating good food
that is healthy for both humans and the environment, as well as the
wonderful social bonds forged over such food.

Lorelei Hanson is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Human
Geography at Athabasca University. Much of her research focuses on rural
community sustainability, place and the cultural studies of nature and
wilderness. She is beginning a pilot research project exploring the
cultural and the ecological impacts of canola production, distribution and
marketing across the Canadian prairies.

Lucero Mariani is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of renewable
resources, recipient of an Alberta Ingenuity Fund Associateship, a soil
ecologist and an active environmental and social justice activist.

Posted March 7, 2005 by russ

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