NFU letter to Minister Bibeau re CFIA President
13 October 2022
We have the courage to make difficult and potentially unpopular decisions and recommendations, free from personal bias.” The National Farmers Union’s 2021 Submission to CFIA on Gene Editing Regulatory Guidance notes that the CFIA participated in a Health Canada-Industry working group established to “inform the development of draft guidance for the Novel Food Regulation, focussed on plant breeding. [...] Thus, the proposed regulatory guidance appears to have been developed in the interests of the regulated parties with the result that neither the concerns of farmers, nor the broader public interest have been properly addressed. [...] Contrary to the intent of Part V of the Seeds Regulations, the proposed regulatory guidance removes the CFIA from its assigned responsibility by creating a mechanism to minimize its oversight of gene-edited seed. [...] The CFIA shows a long-standing pattern of deference to the regulated parties which has caused us to lose confidence in the CFIA’s ability to protect the public interest. [...] We therefore ask that the President of the CFIA be replaced with a new leader who will uphold an unwavering commitment to protecting the interests of Canadians, our food and our environment in order to restore the CFIA’s reputation and credibility.