This call for a Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa was issued by the National Farmers Union-Ontario.
WHEN: Tuesday April 9, 2013, 12 noon (sharp) to 1 pm
WHERE: Kingston, Ottawa (details below) and many other sites across eastern Canada
Bring your banners. Bring your voices. Together we can stop the release of GM alfalfa.
Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) alfalfa could be registered for use in 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 rubber-stamp by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency – at the Variety Registration Office, 59 Camelot Drive in Ottawa!
Alfalfa is used to produce many of the foods we eat. Alfalfa (commonly harvested as hay) is high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, poultry and pigs. It’s also used to build nutrients in the soil and is important for organic farming. 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.
Transition Brockville considers this a vital food security issue.
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 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! Bring your friends and family! Bring your home-made sign.
2. Help spread the word about the action to groups in your community and ask them to get involved.
3. Help publicize the action in your community by putting up posters, handing out flyers, and posting through email and facebook. Materials are at www.cban.ca/april9
4. Contact media to tell them about the Day of Action and encourage them to cover the rallies.
5. Collect signatures on the petition to stop GM alfalfa and bring them to the rally on April 9. See www.cban.ca/alfalfapetition
6. Email, call or write your Member of Parliament and the Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz on April 9 – firstname.lastname@example.org – Tel: 613-995-7080 – Fax: 613-996-8472 – Mail (no postage required) Hon. Gerry Ritz, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON,K1A 0A6
The following resolution was passed on March 2, 2013 at the NFU Region 3 Convention/NFU-Ontario AGM:
“Be it resolved that the National Farmers Union – Ontario call on farm organizations in Ontario and across Canada, other civil society organizations and concerned consumers to join NFU-O members in a day of action against the release of GM alfalfa to be held at MP’s constituency offices on April 9, 2013.”
Office of Variety Registration, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 59 Camelot Drive (Nepean) off Merivale Rd near West Hunt Club
Hosted by NFU Local 362 – Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Ottawa, Prescott-Russell; 310 – Lanark
Contact: Lucy Sharratt email@example.com 613 241 2267 ext 25
Car pooling coordination in the works! Contact us!