Protest Rallies Across Canada April 9 for Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa

Where:

Outside federal Member of Parliament constituency offices, government and corporate offices in 12 communities in Ontario, and 11 locations in other provinces.

Rallies in Ontario: Belleville, Goderich, Guelph, Hawkesbury, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Orangeville, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Stratford, Toronto.

Rallies in other provinces: Wolfville NS, Montreal PQ, Quebec City PQ, Brandon MB, North Battleford SK, Camrose AB, Calgary AB, Edmonton AB, Duncan BC, Nelson BC, Vernon BC.

When:

Tuesday April 9, 2013, 12 noon to 1 pm.

Who and What:

Public protest rallies with farmers and consumers to stop the introduction of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa on the Day of Action April 9th, called for by the National Farmers Union-Ontario, and supported by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

Why:

The company Forage Genetics International has applied Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant Roundup Ready technology to alfalfa. Canada approved GM alfalfa for health and environmental release in 2005, but there is one more step before it can be commercially released in Canada: variety registration from the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency. This registration and commercial release could happen as early as this spring!

Alfalfa is used to help produce many of the foods we eat! Alfalfa (commonly harvested as hay) is a high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, poultry and pigs. It’s also used to build nutrients and organic matter in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming. Farmers agree that GM alfalfa is not needed or wanted but farmers are never consulted before GM crops are introduced.

Alfalfa is a perennial plant that is insect pollinated, therefore, if GM alfalfa is commercially released, GM alfalfa will inevitably contaminate non-GM and organic alfalfa. This GM contamination will threaten the livelihoods of family farmers in Ontario and across Canada. The seed industry says they will focus on Eastern Canada but if GM alfalfa is released, it will only be a matter of time before alfalfa across Canada is contaminated, and sensitive export and organic markets are lost.

More Information:

For information on the Day of Action: http://www.cban.ca/april9

For more information on GM Alfalfa: http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa

Other inquiries: Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network: 613 241 2267 ext 25 coordinator@cban.ca

Ann Slater, NFU-O representative on the Day of Action Coordinating Committee: 519-349-2448 aslater@quadro.net

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