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Crop Biotech Update

Canadian Parliament Votes Against Mandatory Labeling of GM Foods

May 24, 2017

Members of the Canadian Parliament have voted against the mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods in its second reading at the House of Commons on May 17, 2017. The C-291 bill, an Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (genetically modified food), sponsored by Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault, the NDP (New Democractic Party) MP for Sherbrooke, Québec, was defeated by a significant margin, with 67 yeas, and 216 nays.

The bill specified that the Food and Drugs Act be amended, such that "No person shall sell any food that is genetically modified unless its label contains the information... to prevent the purchaser or the consumer of the food from being deceived or misled in respect of its composition." However, the term genetically modified lacked description in the bill, which generated enormous discussion during the second reading. Opponents argued that the wording was too vague, but supporters said that such vagary provided important 'latitude.'

Read more about Bill C-291 at the Parliament website. Details of the votes are available here.