CBC Radio on GM foods and agriculture (transcript)

Male Announcer: This is CBC News.

Female Anchor: Canadian farmers have won a major victory at the World Trade Organization, against the European Union. The long standing dispute, centered on the EU's refusal to accept crops, such as Canola; that contained genetically modified organisms. But, as David Common reports from Paris, European governments have changed their tune about GMO's.

David Common: From 1999 to 2003, whistling protestors, opposed to genetically modified crops; ripped the plants out of the ground, at experimental farms in Britian. An extreme example of Europe's aversion to GM foods. Fearing it's effects to human health and the environment. EU Parliamentarian Agnes Schiereiter -

Agnes Schiereiter:We do not want the GMO's. Because, we don't know what happens in ten, twenty years.

David Common:So, imagine the reaction now, that the World Trade Organization; has ruled the European Union must accept GM foods from Canada and other nations. Strangely, the EU says it won't appeal the decision. Just what prompted this change of heart, has less to do with the dinner plate, than the fuel tank. (machine sounds) Europe, now demands bio-diesel. A cleaner, cocktail of gas of the oils of corn, canola, and other plants.

David Common: Which powers cars and trucks. Problem is; Europe doesn't have enough of the crops themselves. So, they must import them. Canadian farmers are hopeful the European opposition will fade away. Especially, since those European consumers, now don't intend to eat the crops. Just burn them. David Common, CBC News, Paris.

Female Anchor:Prairie farmers are tapping into a new opportunity to make some cash, by going green. They are planitng crops, in an environmentally friendly way. And, getting paid for it. It all began, with half a dozen farmers in a small company in Saskatchewan. Now, thousands of producers are joining in. And, the company is expanding across the prairies. Stephanie Langanader prepared this report .

Farmer: You know, we'd walk to school, we'd walk back home and you couldn't see your way.

Stephanie Langanader:Like most prairie farmers, Daniel Rouiss grew up when dust storms were a fact of life. Blinding, stinging dirt, that blocks the sun. And, blows precious soil, out of farmer's fields.

Daniel Rouiss: And, it always broke my heart to see the land blow away. And, that's why we have to do something, to save our soil.

Stephanie Langanader: That's why Rouiss and his sons, switched to direct seeding. A method of planting, that doesn't require farmers to till the soil. And, therefore leaves the carbon the plants have stored, in the ground. Rather than releasing it into the air, as greenhouse gasses. Then, Rouiss heard that someone wanted to pay him, for the way he's already farming. Jeff Gross is president of a local company that sells agricultural carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

Jeff Gross: The companies that are buying them out of the States' side, such as American Electric Power; they see agriculture as a viable way of reducing emissions.

Stephanie Langanader: For now, those companies are buying credits, voluntarily. They do it; because, buying someone else's environmentally friendly practices, allows them to claim lower emissions themselves. It's a way for polluting companies to buy some time, before their own emissions are at acceptable levels. Gross wants Ottawa to make that practice, part of any new protocol that's developed on climate change. And, that would provide even more income to prairie farmers, such as Daniel Rouiss.

Daniel Rouiss:I mean, it's a bonus. But, even if it's not. It's the bonus. Whatever we can get. It helps.

Stephanie Langanader: More than 2,000 farmers are already signed up in Saskatchewan. The company is now expanding to Manitoba and Alberta. Where it hopes to sign up thousands more. Stephanie Langanader, CBC News, Regina.