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

by Canadian Biotechnology Action Network


 

Tuesday April 9, 2013
12 noon to 1 pm
Outside MP offices
 
Contact us to work with the NFU and CBAN to organize an event in your community on April 9. 
Check www.cban.ca/april9 for updates and to find the rally closest to you.
What will the Day of Action Include? Rallies outside local MP offices across Ontario and in other provinces. The day can also include meetings with your Members of Parliament in their constituency offices. Bring your banners. Bring your voices. Together we can stop the release of GM alfalfa in Canada.
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. 

This call for action was issued by the National Farmers Union-Ontario.  
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

More Information:

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.

How Can I Organize an Action in My Community? 

 
The National Farmers Union and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network have produced an action kit with details on how to make your action successful. We have posters, flyers, information on GM alfalfa, and other materials to help you. Please feel free to contact CBAN for direct support or to discuss ideas – call Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network at 613 241 2267 ext. 25 or email Lucy at coordinator@cban.ca

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.
3.    Help publicize the action in your community by putting up posters, handing out flyers, and posting through email and facebook.
4.    Contact media in your community 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 your MP on April 9. See www.cban.ca/alfalfapetition
6.    Be a part of the Day of Action even if there is not a rally in your community! Check www.cban.ca/april9 for details on how you can participate on and before April 9.
7.    Order GM Alfalfa action postcards for distribution in your community by emailing info@cban.ca

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."

This call to action was issued by the National Farmers Union-Ontario, March 9 2013.

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator 
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) 
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Suite 206, 180 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 1P5 
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext. 25
Fax: 613 241 2506 
coordinator@cban.ca 
www.cban.ca

 

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