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  • CBC Radio Transcripts

ZINTAR SEHRS: The European Union has expanded a list of foods which could be labelled as genetically modified. The EU says it hopes items such as corn oil and some animal feeds which come from GMOs will be labelled on the shelf by 2003. Many of these products are made in Canada. As Tim DuBoyce reports, environmentalists say Canada producers could see a drop in sales once the labelling begins. TIM DUBOYCE (Reporter): Angela Rickman is the deputy director of the Sierra Club of Canada. She says European consumers are much more actively opposed to genetically modified foods than most Canadians. ANGELA RICKMAN (Sierra Club of Canada): The consumer pressure on large grocery stores and on food production systems in the EU has been very strong. They’re very opposed to consuming genetically engineered organisms. DUBOYCE: The EU is proposing labelling not only genetically modified food but also foods which are derived from GMOs such as corn oil. That’s because of popular concern over health and the environmental impact of the products. Rickman says Canadian corn producers could see a drop in sales once the labelling begins. RICKMAN: I don’t think Europeans will continue to buy Canadian corn or Canadian products that are derived from genetic engineering. DUBOYCE: The Sierra Club and Greenpeace both recommend Canada stop bio-tech farming in order to maintain exports to Europe. But Terry Daynard of the Ontario Corn Producers’ Association disagrees. TERRY DAYNARD (Ontario Corn Producers’ Association): Corn oil or starch or sugar that’s made from bio-tech corn or conventional corn is chemically identical in every way. There’s no way you can measure it. DUBOYCE: Daynard says it would require extensive auditing to trace GMOs in the world’s corn supply and he maintains genetic modification is so common, the European markets will be hard-pressed to find non-GMO corn products anywhere. Tim DuBoyce,