GM Alfalfa Campaign Update

-January 29th, 2013

An Update from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

As one farmer reports, “I think the question needs to be asked just exactly why these products are being developed. I haven’t heard a human cry from conventional farmers suggesting that these types of products are actually needed.”

“We grow mixed hay,” says another farmer, “and we have never used spray on our hay crops- there is no advantage to genetically modified alfalfa.”

After delaying the release of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa in Canada for 7 years, the biotech and seed industry is making a final play to commercialize GM alfalfa this year via Ontario and Quebec. GM alfalfa, with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide tolerance trait, was actually approved in Canada in 2005 but it cannot legally be sold as seed until the company Forage Genetics requests variety registration for the seed (that uses Monsanto’s Roundup Ready technology).

Everyone knows that GM alfalfa will contaminate from any entry point, creating havoc in many sectors and for family farmers across the country. The lesson of GM flax contamination needs to be learned via the rejection of GM alfalfa.

The hardcopy GM alfalfa petition for your Member of Parliament is a way to let your MP know your position on GM Alfalfa. Download the petition here.

GM action postcards are now available to order – attractive colour postcards that you address to your Member of Parliament. Order today from [email protected]

WATCH FARMER TESTIMONIALS ON GM ALFALFA IN CANADA HERE.

Both conventional and organic farmers do not see the need for GM Alfalfa. As one farmer reports, “I think the question needs to be asked just exactly whythese products are being developed. I haven’t heard a human cry from conventional farmers suggesting that these types of products are actually needed.”  “We grow mixed hay,” says another farmer, “and we have never used spray on our hay crops- there is no advantage to genetically modified alfalfa.”  Do farmers need GM alfalfa? This year there is a new industry push to pave the way to introduce GM alfalfa into Canada. The company Forage Genetics wants to sell GM alfalfa seeds in Canada (seeds with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide tolerant trait). Its not legal to sell GM alfalfa seeds in Canada until Forage Genetics gets variety registration. In October 2012, the industry group called the Canadian Seed Trade Association began to push a plan for “co-existence” of GM and non-GM alfalfa, to pave the way to introduce GM alfalfa in Canada via Ontario. However, “co-existence” is not possible – GM alfalfa cannot be controlled but will contaminate farmers’ fields across the country. Take action today or find out more info at www.cban.ca/alfalfa Thank you to the National Farmers Union for these testimonials and for the NFU Youth for producing the video.

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