GMOs: Minister Bibeau still has confidence in the food inspection agency

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GMOs: Minister Bibeau still has confidence in the food inspection agency

Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says she still has faith in the CFIA, but the agency needs to review how it shares documents.

< p class="e-p">Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Monday reiterated her confidence in the independence of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), who got away with a slap on the wrist after it was revealed that a document on a new generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), reported by Radio-Canada, contained the name of #x27;a leader of an agrochemical lobby as an author in the metadata.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is an independent agency whose guidance is based on science. In carrying out her mandate, she consults with stakeholders from all walks of life – as well as other independent sources – in order to make informed decisions, she wrote in a statement provided to The Canadian Press by her office.

Ms. Bibeau believes, however, that the CFIA still needs to make improvements to document processing.

I question how the document was shared and I have asked senior management to follow up and make the necessary corrections, she mentions.

In an explanatory email following a request for comment on the article published Monday by Radio-Canada, the agency insists that it is the sole author of the document.

The organization says that, as part of consultations, a draft update of part of the seed regulations was sent to seed associations. industry representing seed developers to provide feedback.

It was in one of the returned copies that the CFIA continued to work, it is mentioned. This copy carries metadata associated with Jennifer Hubert, the General Manager of the Plant Biology Sector at the CropLife Canada Lobby.

The document has been reviewed by the CFIA and subsequently communicated to a broader stakeholder group including nonprofits and organic associations for feedback.

The proposed key directions were drafted by the agency, the spokesperson argues. He added that external parties, including industry associations, are not the authors of CFIA documents.

In a statement, activist group Vigilance OGM says it's outrageous that the federal government is letting lobbies make their own regulations using documents created by pesticide and GMO industry representatives as a regulatory proposal. new GMO seeds.

When asked to respond to CFIA's explanations, the organization's coordinator, Thibault Rehn, replied that ;he does not buy their explanations, he who received the document written by the industry and then perhaps modified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

< p class="e-p">Even so, Mr. Rehn believes that the current situation proves how the CFIA is so used to working hand in hand as to x27;exchanging documents and taking documents written by industry does not seem to be a problem.

His group also notes ent that the CFIA seems to consult industry first before other partners, while parties with financial interests in regulatory changes should be contacted after farmers, civil society and scientists independent.

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