Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa

Date: 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Urgent Action Alert from the National Farmers Union-Ontario: Stop the release of GM Alfalfa!

Tuesday April 9, 2013
12 noon to 1 pm
Kitchener Waterloo rally: 22 King St South, Uptown Waterloo.
Outside MP Peter Braid's constituency office.

Flyers and posters are attached, and can be found here.
 

 
(If you are not in KW, please check www.cban.ca/april9 to find the rally closest to you.)

Why is Stopping GM Alfalfa Urgent?
Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) alfalfa could be registered for use in Eastern Canada this April. GM Roundup Ready alfalfa varieties have just been cleared for the last step before they hit the market – all they need now is a final registration rubber-stamp by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The Canadian Seed Trade Association and its corporate members, including Monsanto, Pioneer, and Forage Genetics International, are also actively trying to get support for the release of GM alfalfa.

Because alfalfa is a perennial plant that is pollinated by bees, genetically modified alfalfa will inevitably cross-pollinate with non-GM and organic alfalfa, threatening the livelihoods of family farmers across Canada. Prairie farmers have already rejected GM alfalfa for these reasons so now the industry is trying to introduce GM alfalfa in Eastern Canada.
 
Why is GM Alfalfa Such a Huge Threat? 
GM contamination is inevitable because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by insects. In Ontario, weeds are becoming resistant to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup): another glyphosate tolerant crop like Roundup Ready alfalfa would increase these weeds. Alfalfa is almost always grown in a mix with grasses and establishes readily without the use of herbicides. Farmers don’t want or need Roundup Ready alfalfa. If genetically modified (GM, also called genetically engineered or GE) alfalfa is released in Eastern Canada it will have negative impacts on a wide range of farmers and farming systems, both conventional and organic. For more information see www.cban.ca/alfalfa
 
Why is Alfalfa Important? 
Alfalfa (commonly harvested as hay) is a high-protein forage fed to animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, poultry and pigs. It's also used to build nutrients and organic matter in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming. If it's introduced, GM alfalfa will ruin export markets for alfalfa products, contaminate family farms, make it more difficult for farmers to control weeds, and threaten the future of organic food and farming in Canada.
 
What Else Can I Do to Help?
  1. Come out on April 9! You can find out what actions are happening in your community at www.cban.ca/april9 . Bring your friends and family!
  2. Help spread the word about April 9 to groups in your community and ask them to get involved. Publicize the action in your community by putting up posters, handing out flyers, and posting through email and facebook.
  3. Contact media in your community to tell them about the Day of Action and encourage them to cover the rallies.
  4. Collect signatures on the petition to stop GM alfalfa and bring them to your MP on April 9. See www.cban.ca/alfalfapetition
  5. Order GM Alfalfa action postcards for distribution in your community by emailing info@cban.ca
This call to action was issued by the National Farmers Union-Ontario, March 9 2013.
 
For details please contact Lucy Sharratt at the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN): 613 241 2267 ext.25 coordinator@cban.ca or see www.cban.ca/april9