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Life

Seeds of Discontent

Podcast: 'Deconstructing Dinner' takes on Monsanto.

By Jon Steinman 12 Apr 2008 | TheTyee.ca

Jon Steinman is producer and host of Kootenay Co-op Radio's program Deconstructing Dinner. A new podcast with notes is posted here every Friday afternoon. All Deconstructing Dinner podcasts can be found here.

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On March 20, 2008, Deconstructing Dinner shared the history and outcomes of the most recent battle between farmer Percy Schmeiser and global seed giant Monsanto. Raised during that broadcast was the very basis for the battle: a product release form issued by Monsanto to farmers who wish to have unwanted genetically-engineered plants removed from their fields by the company. Schmeiser took exception to this form, and on this broadcast we probe further into the controversies and possible hidden agendas behind the use of this form for such purposes. Host Jon Steinman engaged in a heated conversation with Monsanto's public affairs director, Trish Jordan, and he shares a number of shocking discrepancies between statements she made on March 19 and March 20, 2008. Steinman also spoke with Schmeiser's lawyer, Terry Zakreski, who confirmed that the release form in question is indeed worth questioning!

While GE crops remain a heated concern on the prairies, the debate over their presence in Canada's food supply took an important step in Ottawa on April 3, 2008. Canadians have long been demanding that foods containing genetically engineered ingredients be labelled. Since 1993, more than six bills have been introduced by members of parliament, with the most recent being Bill C-517. First introduced into the House of Commons in February 2008 by the Bloc Québécois's Gilles A. Perron, the bill is calling for the mandatory labelling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. On April 3, 2008, C-517 was debated in the House by members of all parties. Deconstructing Dinner recorded the debate and followed up with Conservative MP Bruce Stanton, who opposes the bill.

Voices/guests

Gilles A. Perron, MP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Bloc Québécois (Saint-Eustache, Que.) -- Gilles A. was first elected as member of parliament in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000, 2004 and 2006. He currently serves as the critic on veterans affairs.

Bruce Stanton, MP Simcoe North, Conservative Party of Canada (Orillia, Ont.) -- Bruce was first elected to the House Of Commons in January 2006.

Robert Thibault, MP West Nova, Liberal Party of Canada (Yarmouth, N.S.) -- Robert Thibault was first elected to the House of Commons as the member of parliament for West Nova in November 2000 and was re-elected in 2004 and again in 2006. In July 2004, he was appointed parliamentary secretary to the minister of health. He currently serves as the health critic.

Nathan Cullen, MP Skeena-Bulkley Valley, New Democratic Party of Canada (Smithers, B.C.) -- Nathan Cullen was elected to his first term as member of parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley at the age of 31, on June 28, 2004. He was soon named the New Democratic Party's national critic for three key portfolios: environment, national parks and youth.

Marcel Lussier, MP Brossard-La Prairie, Bloc Québécois (Brossard, Que.) -- Lussier ran for office as a member of the Bloc Québécois in the 2004 election, but was defeated by Jacques Saada. In 2006, he ran again, defeating Saada by approximately 2 per cent of the vote. Lussier has been appointed as the environment critic by Bloc's leader, Gilles Duceppe.

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