GMO labeling bill defeated in Canadian parliament

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStockphoto-chombosan
Picture: iStockphoto-chombosan

Related tags Federal gmo labeling Canada

Members of the Canadian Parliament voted against approving mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods in a vote in the House of Commons yesterday. 

The private members bill C-291​ – introduced by Pierre-Luc Dusseault, the NDP (New Democratic Party) MP for Sherbrooke, Québec - was defeated​ by a significant margin, with 67 yeas, and 216 nays.

It specified only that the Food and Drugs Act be amended such that “No person shall sell any food that is genetically modified unless its label contains 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’ was not defined in the bill, which generated a lot of discussion during the second reading, with opponents arguing that the wording was too vague and supporters arguing that such vagary provided important ‘latitude.’

The debate in Canada follows the passage of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law​ in the US, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2016.

  • Read more about the US federal GMO labeling law HERE​.
  • Read more about bill C-291 HERE​.
  • Read the arguments made by Canadian MPs for and against bill C-291 HERE​.

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