Local MP’s bill defeated

Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko says the defeat of his private member’s bill on genetically modified organisms Wednesday shows the Conservatives and Liberals are putting the interests of “their big business buddies” ahead of everyday farmers.

MP Alex Atamanenko

MP Alex Atamanenko

Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko says the defeat of his private member’s bill on genetically modified organisms Wednesday shows the Conservatives and Liberals are putting the interests of “their big business buddies” ahead of everyday farmers.

The bill fell 178 to 98 in the House of Commons following heavy lobbying by the biotech industry. The Bloc Quebecois and 18 Liberals joined the NDP in supporting it.

Atamanenko says he was disappointed but not surprised.

“For some reason [the Liberals] didn’t want to approve the bill, even though their critic says he’s worried about contamination.”

The proposed legislation would have obligated the government to consider the effect of overseas exports on Canadian farmers before approving new genetically modified seeds.

Late last year, industry lobbyists blitzed MPs and one bluntly told Atamanenko they didn’t want the issue discussed.

“We’ve succeeded in the sense we’ve had a democratic discussion and consciousness [on the issue] has been raised,” he said, adding the NDP will keep up its fight on behalf of Canadian farmers. onhtml#ixzz1DaJ3USwh