New Democrats Release National Food For Thought Report
From the official press release:
Canadians are looking to their government for a comprehensive food strategy to protect our food security and sovereignty, says a report released Tuesday by New Democrats.
Over the past two years in public forums in 28 communities across the country, Agriculture Critic Alex Atamanenko led the New Democrat Food for Thought Tour, and spoke to over a thousand Canadians about their thoughts and concerns about food.
Food is not only fundamental to healthy living but it is fundamental to a healthy economy, said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton. Urban or rural, Canadians want their government to step up to the plate and develop a national plan to protect the food we eat and promote the food we produce.
The Food for Thought Tour revealed these key priorities:
- By enacting legislation that will require that food be properly labelled with information on its origin, its nutritional value and whether it is genetically modified or not;
- By requiring imported foods meet the same environmental and health standards that apply to food produced in Canada and providing the resources to enforce those standards;
- By offering incentives and designing tax policies to promote local food production, processing capacity and distribution networks, such as farmer’s markets and agriculture co-operatives.
“Throughout the tour, Canadians told us that when it comes to food, we have to start thinking locally”, said Atamanenko. “We need to make sure that everyone has access to safe and nutritious food and who better to produce it than our own farmers. We already trust them to put healthy food on our plates. It’s time our government did the same.”
The tour found that supporting local initiatives such as farmers markets and cooperatives, and creating regulations adapted to the realities of small scale farmers, are just some of the solutions that would ensure our food security and sovereignty.
The tour also found a wealth of organizations and communities across the country that have or want to develop an action plan to deal with various aspects of food security. There is a strong appetite for federal leadership to support these initiatives.
“This is an important and monumental report on what Canadians are thinking,” said Layton. “I would like to thank everyone who came out to the forums and shared their thoughts, and Alex for seeking out the views of so many Canadians interested in food issues.. It is time that people in Ottawa to finally hear what they have to say.”
For a copy of the report, go to www.ndp.ca