• Petition: No. 108
  • Date Received: 7 April 2004

Status: Completed

Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: , , ,

3972 West 33rd AveVancouver BCV6N 2H8

Genetic engineering focuses on:
The process of creating a transgene begins by isolating the gene of interest from a donor organism or selecting for purchase any of the thousands of known genes from massive online genomic databases. Once the gene is obtained, it is usually altered so it can function more effectively or be expressed more readily in the host organism. That gene is then combined with other genetic elements and introduced into a second organism (the host), at which point it’s known as a transgene. A transgenic organism is further defined as one that contains a transgene introduced by technological methods rather than through selective breeding. Hybrids are transgenic organisms created when reproductive cells from two species combine to form a single embryo (e.g., a mule is the offspring of a horse and a donkey); on the other hand, chimeras are created by artificially combining genetic material from two organisms into a single species.

I would like answers to the following questions:

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your response.
Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.


[Original signed by Anna Kirkpatrick]

Social, Health and Environmental Concerns of Genetic Engineering
This article provides an overview of the major ecological concerns associated with the genetic engineering or crops for human use and consumption.

If you could save lives by producing vaccines in transgenic bananas, would you? In the debate over large-scale commercialization and use of GMOs, where should we draw the line? This educational resource, published by Scitable, provides a brief overview of the current uses, as well as potential risks and benefits, of genetically modified organisms.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

This resource from the World Health Organization (WHO) offers insight into production, risk assessment, environmental concerns, and regulation of genetically engineered crops.

Commission of Environment and Sustainable Development

begins with a discussion of the converging evidence for shared ancestry that has emerged from a variety of sources (e.g., comparative anatomy and embryology, molecular biology and genetics). It describes how variation of genetically determined traits in a population may give some members a reproductive advantage in a given environment. This natural selection can lead to adaptation, that is, to a distribution of traits in the population that is matched to and can change with environmental conditions. Such adaptations can eventually lead to the development of separate species in separated populations. Finally, the idea describes the factors, including human activity, that affect biodiversity in an ecosystem, and the value of biodiversity in ecosystem resilience. See for a summary of these four core ideas and their components.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

9. An important step in developing a regulatory framework involves examining whether these products and by-products can be adequately segregated from other commodities; more specifically, those intended for the food and feed chains. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), as the Canadian regulator for grains destined for export, is also concerned with these products being segregated from the current Canadian grain handling system by an effective segregation system. To address this issue, the CFIA hosted a technical workshop on March 2-4, 2004 to discuss the segregation and handling of potential commercial PMF products and by-products. Participants included representatives from industry, federal government, agricultural and agribusiness associations, and experts in grain handling and identity preservation. As a result of this workshop, the CFIA, in collaboration with colleagues from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, has drafted and solicited advice on how best to expand the table of contents for a code of best agricultural practices for PNTs for PMF. As well, the CFIA will continue to work with Health Canada to develop an appropriate regulatory pathway, leading to the development of regulatory directives.

Are there fundamental issues with creating new species?

The Just Label It campaign was created to advocate for the labeling of GE foods. Unlike most other developed countries – such as 15 nations in the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and even China – the U.S. has no laws requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods. Find out how to make your voice heard to US policymakers.