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Opinion: Canada says ‘no thanks’ to European-style agriculture

Shifts to organics and heavy restrictions on the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are paving a path to unsustainable agriculture in Europe, leading to lower production and reduced food security.

Canada is not headed in that direction.

Despite some pundits’ assertions to the contrary, this country is not restricting food production. The recent focus on the federal government’s fertilizer emissions reductions goal and the national carbon release reduction policies have added fuel to a political fire that has little to do with Canadian farm realities.

Unfortunately, the federal government fumbled the ball when it rolled out its aspirational farm-fertilizer emissions goals. That created opportunities to politicize them and raise questions in farmers’ minds about the policy future for farming in Canada. Producers rightfully question where their federal and provincial governments are headed when it comes to farm environmental sustainability programs.

There are few international examples of what might be required to meet emissions reductions goals for Canada, so the ill-conceived European Union’s Farm to Fork strategy has been an easy target.

At its shallowest level, the EU’s strategy doesn’t appear to hamper production or farm profitability but the devil is in the details when it comes to farm policy.

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