Quebec Government Sets Up Website on Genetically Modified Organisms at WWW.OGM.GOUV.QC.CA
Quebec City, November 10, 2004 – Many Quebecers have questions about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). To help them find the information they are looking for and as recommended by the Conseil de la science et de la technologie, the Québec government has created the website www.ogm.gouv.qc.ca.
Designed for the general public, the purpose of the site is to provide factual and easy to understand information about GMOs in light of current scientific knowledge, particularly with respect to the use of GMOs in intensive or industrial agriculture. The government has also produced a brochure for those who do not have Internet access. The brochure is available at government departments and agencies that contributed to the website, at Communication -Québec offices and in local community health clinics (CLSCs).
What is a GMO? Are there any in Quebec? What are they used for? Who decides whether a GMO can be developed and marketed? What are the health and environmental risks? These questions and many others are answered on the sire at www.ogm.gouv.qc.ca.
In 2002, the Quebec Conseil de la science et de la technologie recommended that the issue of GMOs be handled in an open manner, by providing the public with reliable and valid information about genetically modified food and the scientific, economic, social and ethical aspects of the issue.
An interministerial committee was then asked to create a centralized government source of information about GMOs. This committee, composed of multidisciplinary resource people and scientists from government departments and agencies concerned with GMOs, developed the site content.
The site and brochure are thus the result of a collaborative effort by six ministries and agencies that pooled their resources: the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Ministry of Economic and Regional Development and Research, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Health and Social Service, the Consumer Protection Office, and the Science and Technology Ethics Committee.
The committee’s constant concern was to ensure that the government information about GMOs on the site was accurate and could be easily understood by consumers or anyone else who wanted to find out more about the subject.
The Quebec government hopes that with the information on this site, which will be regularly updated, Quebecers will be better informed about the whole issue of genetically modified organisms.
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