Yes to GMO-Free Zones Say Majority of Canadians
Yes to GMO-Free Zones Say 58% of Canadians and 62% of PEI residents
MONTREAL, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - While the government of Prince-Edward Island (PEI) continues public hearings to make the Island a GMO-Free Zone, two surveys (1) released today by Greenpeace show that a GMO-Free PEI, has wide approval in Canada and Quebec.
"Once you re-distribute the undecided respondents, 58% of Canadians and 62% of PEI residents said they want their Province to be declared a GMO-Free Zone. In Quebec, support for the GMO-Free Zone reaches as high 64%. These percentages are surprising because as of yet there has been no widespread campaigns or public debates on this subject" said Eric Darier, Greenpeace GMO Campaigner.
"In PEI, the proportion of undecided respondents is only 14%, whereas this figure is almost twice as high (27%) elsewhere in Canada. Given the political debate currently taking place in PEI the only conclusion is that the more people know about GMOs, the less they want them," added Darier "To further illustrate the point the percentage of undecided respondents in this survey from Quebec is also low (17%), likely because of the public hearing held in 2004 by the Commission sur l'Agriculture, les pÃªcheries et l'alimentation (CAPA)."
The movement for GMO-Free Zones is picking up speed everywhere in the world. In Europe, more than 100 regions and 3500 municipalities are now GMO-Free Zones. Last January, the movement adopted the Berlin Manifesto for GMO-free Regions and Biodiversity in Europe (2). In the United States, many counties (the equivalent of MRCs in Quebec), in California, Hawaii, Vermont and Maine among others, have decided to become or are in the process of becoming GMO-Free Zones. In a poll held in 2004, 56% of voters in Mendocino County, California agreed to turn their county into a GMO-Free Zone. In British Columbia, the City of Powell River is now a "genetically engineered free crop zone".
Part of the popular support for GMO-Free Zones results from the citizens frustrations towards the pro-GMO positions adopted by upper levels of government. In April 2004, the Federal Government adopted a "voluntary" labelling policy on GMOs. Until now, despite an overwhelming 83% of Canadians wanting mandatory GMO labelling (3), we have yet to find a single product with a "Contains GMO" label on it. In Quebec, Jean Charest's Liberal Party has promised mandatory GMO labelling but has so far failed to follow through on the promise," concluded Darier.
1. by Leger Marketing and Corporate Research Associates in Moncton.
2. http://www.zs-l.de/conference (3) Léger Marketing survey, April 2004.
3. http://www.greenpeace.ca/f/campagnes/ogm/etiquetage/sondage_etiquetage_mai2004 .pdf
For complete survey results, visit: www.greenpeace.ca/f/
For further information: Eric Darier, Greenpeace GE Campaigner, (514) 933-0021, x15, cell: (514) 605-6497; Andrew Male, Greenpeace Communications Coordinator, cell: (416) 880-2757