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Canada's Labelling Wars

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In our modern food wars, the dollar is the consumer’s greatest weapon

In our modern food wars, the dollar is the consumer’s greatest weapon. Case in point: due to demand, food manufacturing giant Heinz Canada is the first to announce that its baby foods do not contain genetically engineered ingredients. We can consider this a victory—hopefully one of many more because it appears federal attempts to get a labelling process in place have stalled.

For three years, the Canadian General Standards Board Committee on the Voluntary Labelling of Genetically Engineered Food has attempted to organize voluntary labelling rules. Now, $435,000 worth of taxpayers’ money later, the board has stated it cannot reach a consensus. It is unclear what will happen next.

Polls indicate that up to 95 percent of Canadians want mandatory—not voluntary—labelling of genetically engineered foods, as is the case in 36 other countries, according to a recent Greenpeace press release. Until such time that Canadians can be assured of 100 per cent safety, those wanting to avoid these ingredients can opt for certified organic products and check out Greenpeace’s Shoppers Guide to GMO-Free Food at greenpeace.ca or call 1-800-320-7183.

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