– will other prairie Ag Ministers follow his lead?

(January 29, 2019)
  For months prairie farmers have been pushing back against a so-called Seed Value/Seed Synergy proposal to effectively privatize Canada’s cereals genetics and give it to some of the largest agro-chemical-seed companies in the world.

So it was good to see Alberta Minister of Agriculture Oneil Carlier quoted in the Western Producer coming to the defense of farmers and the public who have paid to develop cereals genetics.

What is especially impressive about the Minister’s observations is he gets to the heart of the matter by recognizing the conflict of interest at the core of the move to privatize cereals genetics:

“I don’t represent Monsanto and I don’t represent Bayer Crop Science.  I represent the farmers of Alberta, so our position is going to be what is best for the farmers of Alberta” he said.  It is refreshing to see an Alberta Minister of Agriculture take a positive leadership role.

It is not often you hear a politician acknowledge conflict of interest even exists.  So the question for the other prairie Agriculture Ministers is pretty simple:  “Do you support Ottawa’s move to take control of cereals genetics away from farmers and the public and give it to the Monsantoes of this world?”

If Ottawa gets its way, control of our cereals genetics will be removed from farmers and the public and given to private companies for their own profits.  The herbicide and insecticide divisions of the big agro-chemical-seed companies will no doubt welcome such a development, but both farmers and consumers may come to deeply regret it.

It is time to remove this sort of conflict of interest from our seed development system and enhance our current public and farmer focused system.

Thanks to Alberta Agriculture Minister Carlier for sounding a much needed note of caution about an agro-chemical-seed company driven agenda coming from Ottawa.  Will the Trudeau administration listen and shut down the Seed Value/Seed Synergy process?  It can’t happen too soon.

Comments are closed.