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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario  
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Ritz,

This letter was created as a result of legislative action by members of Community of Christ, meeting in its two Conferences that encompass Eastern and Western Canada.  The issue concerns food containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), also called genetically engineered food.

We respectfully call on the government to implement mandatory labeling of all foods containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).  

Further, all such foods:

a) Must be labeled in a clear and understandable manner for the consumer;

b) Must include as part of the packaging, an internet address where consumers can access additional product information related to GMOs.

The ability to make an informed choice, especially pertaining to areas of government oversight such as food, is a cornerstone of any free and democratic country.  Canada and the United States are the only industrialized countries that do not have mandatory labeling regulations in place.  It is long overdue for Canada to correct this.

On behalf of our members across Canada, our Peace and Justice Committee will be tracking progress on this issue.  We look forward to your response to this letter.


Rod Downing, Chair, Canada Peace and Justice Committee

Canada East Mission President
Tim Stanlick

Canada West Mission President
Greg Goheen

Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)

Genetically Modified (GM) foods, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is a topic of debate regarding the potential harm that they may cause.  We hope to have a more detailed analysis later.  

But the most basic step is to ensure such foods are properly labeled, which allows people the freedom to choose. Thus the letter below was sent to the Canadian government in April 2012, followed up with the Action below:

Letter (April 2012)

Action - Sign Petition (October 2012)

On September 28, 2012, Bill C-257 was introduced into the House of Commons as a private member’s bill from Alex Atamanemko (NDP).  It calls for amendments to the Food and Drug Act to require mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods.  Private member’s bills seldom get anywhere by themselves.  A petition has been started on the Avaaz site to help bolster support for the bill.  Please consider signing the petition, and  spreading the word via social media and word of mouth.

Sign petition:  Sign GMO petition.

Action - Sat. May 24, 2014:  March Against Monsanto Everywhere.

Consider joining the march: Actions will occur in 52 countries including these 33 Canadian locations.  The Canadian church stand is the most basic - to require the labelling of all genetically-modified (GM) food.  The rally includes that demand, but many go further and want an outright ban on GM foods.  So anyone who plans on going may want their own sign that indicates their stance.  In terms of the process of change, marches are a multi-voiced tool to help advance the visibility of an issue and the pressure to change the issue’s status.

A second theme of the rally relates to Monsanto’s treatment of impoverished farmers around the world and the methods that Monsanto uses to control them.  We have not yet created web material for this disturbing and complex issue, although organizations like World Accord  are familiar with the devastating stories of such farmers.  It is no way to empower people to find their own dignified path out of poverty, and Monsanto’s regressive tactics must be made visible and stopped.