National Day of Action to stop genetically modified alfalfa


April 9, 2013 — Stop GM Alfalfa!

THE National Farmers Union in Ontario in conjunction with the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network has called for a national day of action for April 9, 2013 to stop the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) or genetically engineered alfalfa. They are calling for actions to be held at MPs’ constituency offices on the day.

The following reasons for the Day of Action are provided from the NFU:

Why Is Stopping GM Alfalfa Urgent?

121024-KitchenerNoGMODemo-NFUMonsanto’s 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 GM alfalfa is released in Eastern Canada, it will have negative impacts on a wide range of farmers and farming systems, both conventional and organic.

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.

For more information please see the CBAN website or feel free to email Ann Slater in Ontario or call her at (519) 349-2448; or outside of Ontario email Cathy Holtslander in Saskatoon or call (306) 652-9465 or call 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.

Also visit the National Farmers Union website at


Filed under Canada

2 responses to “National Day of Action to stop genetically modified alfalfa

  1. Jo

    maybe set up an on-line petition to present some backing for your worthy cause… follow the link from facebook to your site…


  2. Pingback: Heavy use of herbicide Roundup linked to health dangers | Tony Seed's Weblog

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