18 October 1999
Canada to force gene food on Europe?

EUROPE could be forced to accept genetically modified foods unless it can prove they are unsafe, under a new law being introduced in Canada.

The Canadian Health Coalition is staging massive protests against the new bill – known as C80 – in Ottawa, reports Radio 4s Farming Today

This law would replace existing legislation which tests new products for safety, quality and efficacy.

If the new bill is passed, these would be replaced by a single test for all new products.

The onus would be placed on opponents, such as environmental groups, to prove that the product does harm.

In the European Union either consumer groups or the EU itself would have to prove doubts.

The Canadian Health Coalition says its government is pushing this bill to make easier for big corporations to develop, plant and sell biotechnology products in Canada.

However, opposition to the bill is widespread.

Two hundred government scientists have stood up to say they do not want multi-national companies telling consumers what is safe.