Canada's Regulators and Genetically Modified Foods: The Public's Protection?

Essay by TonyahardingCollege, UndergraduateA, October 2004

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Canada's Regulators and Genetically Modified Foods: The Public's Protection

Canadians want to know the food they eat is safe and if it is derived from a natural process. This is a logical demand because the only true exercise of power a consumer has in the liberal free market system is who they give their money to. Canadians have been unable to exercise due diligence on foods before they purchase them. Furthermore, Canadians' concerns for the protection of the bio-diversity of their environment, as well as their health concerns, have fallen on deaf ears of laissez-faire politicians. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not safe for the release into our environment nor are they without hazard to human health. Health Canada's mandate is not being obeyed, and Environment Canada's authority to exercise its mandate has been usurped. There must be a moratorium put on the sale and production of foods that are, or contain genetically modified organisms.

Health Canada's website clearly identifies its mandate as "to be responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health. Health Canada strives to improve the health of all Canada's people, while respecting individual choices and circumstances and therefore seeks to put Canada among the countries with the healthiest people in the world."(Canada, About Health Canada). Environment Canada's mandate is "to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment, including water, air and soil quality; conserve Canada's renewable resources, including migratory birds and other non-domestic flora and fauna; conserve and protect Canada's water resources; carry out meteorology; enforce the rules made by the Canada - United States International Joint Commission relating to boundary waters; and coordinate environmental policies and programs for the federal government" (Canada, Mandate Vision and Mission).

The origin of the genetically modified organisms is relevant to this...