Michel Jacques and Geneviève Longère, leaders of Slow Food Lanaudière
Slow Food Lanaudière enjoined Mr. Pierre Paradis, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to review all laws and regulations governing agriculture in Quebec to help and promote artisan producers.
A CBC report dated October 21 teaches us what we already feared; our provincial government has lost control over the use of pesticides on its territory both in quantity and quality. The Agriculture Minister, Pierre Paradis, admitted in an interview with Paul Arcand on October 22: “Monsanto is more powerful than the government of Quebec.”
It is not very pleasing to see the impotence of our government to ensure the health of citizens. These pesticides, some of which are banned, including in several European countries, are present in the food offered in supermarkets and therefore in our plates and are the cause of many health problems.
Minister Paradis advises us to be vigilant and to demand the right to know how the foods we buy is produced. We fully agree with him and we strongly encourage you to review the rules on labeling of food so that consumers are informed of the presence of pesticides or GMOs. We have a right to know.
However, we must go further; indeed, there is a need to find a greater amount of organic produce without pesticides and GMOs on the shelves of grocers. These products do not come from industrialized agriculture. The farmer who testifies on CBC does say: “The industry always pushes you to be more efficient, to get the most yield, to have the cleanest fields possible.” The law of the industry is to produce more, to lower prices and sell more to make more profit. These industrials obviously do not take into account in setting their cost of rising health care costs due to the growth of cancers and chronic diseases caused by the uncontrolled use of pesticides and food additives. And now, the World Health Organization decreed that red meats and sausages are harmful to health…
Since we cannot rely on the large food industry to supply us with products that are safe for our health, we must return to the artisan producers who attach more importance to quality than quantity.
The consumers will thus have access to healthy food: Good taste, Clean, because the artisan’s benefit to protect the sustainability of its livelihood and keep its customers with whom he is in direct contact and Fair, because the artisan will receive fair pay while offering a product at competitive prices, thanks to the disappearance of many intermediaries.
And be careful! According to Boucar Diouf (La Presse, October 31, 2015, A25) “If this trend continues, the food industry (as we are currently experiencing it) is at risk of living, in the future, class actions at the scale of those that hit the tobacco industry today.”