|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Mr. Bernard Bigras (RosemontóLa Petite-Patrie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Agriculture Canada and Health Canada have given the green light to a variety of genetically modified corn known as MON 863. Mice fed with this corn have developed kidney abnormalities and elevated white blood cell counts.
How can the government explain the approval of this product, when even an Agriculture Canada employee is quoted as saying the CFIA is aware of the Monsanto data but it hasn't changed their assessment.
Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this particular material has been tested throughout the world, particularly in the G-8 countries. Many of those countries have had this particular substance approved.
After the results of these tests came to light, no jurisdiction, after the review, has actually dismissed this substance as useless.
Therefore I suggest to the hon. member that Health Canada has followed the appropriate procedure in maintaining the status quo.
Mr. Bernard Bigras (RosemontóLa Petite-Patrie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister, would he be prepared to eat this type of corn tomorrow morning? A Greenpeace spokesperson has said it would be wise to suspend approval of this GM corn and to carry out another assessment.
Does the government intend to follow Greenpeace's recommendation and suspend approval, or will it continue to stick up for the huge multinational Monsanto?
Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Health Canada was made aware of these results in 2004. Health Canada took into account its own review, in addition to the conclusions of the European Food Safety Authority and Food Standards Australia New Zealand which also reviewed the data in its consideration. None of those particular agencies have taken this off the market.
I choose my food carefully, as do all other Canadians, and I eat Canadian food.