The perception that many consumers have of modern farms can colour their expectations of the food they buy — so those perceptions should help shape how farms operate. | Getty image

Farmers play important role in building consumer trust

The perception that many consumers have of modern farms can colour their expectations 
of the food they buy — so those perceptions should help shape how farms operate

When Canadian grocery buyers think about farmers, what images come to mind? Do they see a trustworthy, tractor-driving character who wears a straw hat, striped coveralls and a red flannel shirt to work every day? Or do they see low-income wage earners, working on a massive factory farm, where values such as environmental stewardship and […] Read more

61 per cent of survey respondents have a negative view of the term genetic modification. Many believe the process involves injecting foods with hormones, antibiotics, steroids or other substances. | File photo

Consumers still opposed to GM food

If given a choice, most consumers would choose to buy a non-GM food item — though most don’t read the labels

Health Canada says the results of a 2016 survey of consumer views on genetically modified foods will help the department communicate to Canadians. However, opinions remain largely unchanged from previous research that showed consumers are skeptical about, if not completely opposed to, genetically modified foods, the report said. “The findings from this public opinion research […] Read more

Judge GM on a case-by-case basis: experts

Lucy Sharratt and Robert Wager don’t agree on much. Sharratt spends most of her time opposing genetically modified food, while Wager is a vocal defender of the technology. However, they do see eye to eye on one matter: it’s wrong to make blanket statements about the safety of GM food. “Each GM food needs to […] Read more

Jennifer Dyck works with the Canola Eat Well initiative, a farmer-funded program that holds workshops to highlight healthy, nutritious cooking.  |  Ed White photo

Farmers have much to teach consumers

Producer group aims to provide credible information on healthy meals and farm practices through consumer workshops

Consumers have become frazzled about food, whether it’s over GMOs, pesticides, gluten, big farms versus small farms, local versus global or organic versus conventional. Jennifer Dyck and Ellen Pruden are trying to alleviate the worry by challenging today’s food paranoia with a simple and friendly method. “I think it’s really about putting people back in […] Read more

Finn Rosmanitz tries organic baby food that does not contain genetically modified organisms, 
pesticides or added hormones. Young mothers have become a powerful consumer group. | Barbara Duckworth photo

Consumers search for trustworthy GMO information

Consumer perceptions and confusion abound when it comes to the topic of genetically modified organisms. There was no confusion for Jennifer Carlson when she launched her line of organic baby food 11 years ago. “Organic was always predominately the number one choice when we started this company,” the Calgary mother said. “As a mother, I […] Read more

In 1996, herbicide resistance genetics are approved in U.S. and Canadian crops. | File photo

Highlights on the road toward genetic modification in agriculture

1972: Researchers at Stanford University and the University of California use enzymes to cut a piece of bacterial DNA and replace it with another strand. This forms the basis for rDNA, the blending of genetics from a variety of organisms. 1974: Rudolf Jaenisch and Beatrice Mintz at MIT use rDNA tools and introduce foreign DNA […] Read more

Green Party leader Elizabeth May, the party’s only MP, says its main concerns are GM labelling, resistance to new GM crops and global food supply. | File photo

Public’s anti-GMO perception tainted by media, say Green Party, NFU

Organization officials say because they questioned the need for GM food and pushed for scientific testing on its safety, they have been labelled GM opponents

Dozens of Canadian organizations are dedicated to halting the march of genetically modified food with messages from mild skepticism to radically militant and doses of real science sprinkled throughout. Here’s a look at two of the best known: the Green Party and the National Farmers Union. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, the party’s only MP, […] Read more

Farm groups challenge food company’s non-GM pledge

Yogurt maker Dannon is misleading the public by suggesting non-GM crops are more sustainable than GM crops, say opponents

Farmers and food companies have dropped the gloves in the de-bate over genetically modified food. A number of food companies have recently announced they are introducing non-GM product lines. That is making growers antsy because many rely on biotechnology to keep weeds and insects at bay. The line in the sand for farm groups was […] Read more

Grappling with GM animals

The House of Commons agriculture committee has recommended greater regulatory transparency when evaluating genetically modified animals for human consumption. However, it stopped short of recommending mandatory labelling of GM foods, saying the government should support that only for issues of food health and safety. The NDP committee members filed a dissenting report on that point. […] Read more