Canadian Biotechnology Action Network Press Release
Tuesday April 2, 2013. Ottawa.

 Today, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network released a new report documenting the means by which genetically modified (GM) alfalfa will contaminate non-GM alfalfa and hay crops in Ontario, if GM alfalfa is released in Eastern Canada.

“We can clearly see how farmers will pay the heavy costs of this inevitable contamination,” said Ontario organic sheep and vegetable farmer Ann Slater, member of the National Farmers Union, “The only way to stop contamination from GM alfalfa is to keep it off the market.”

Alfalfa is an important crop for dairy farming in Ontario as well as for livestock farmers and vegetable and field crop producers. Some Ontario farmers also save alfalfa seed.

The report details the role of seeds, pollen, and volunteer/feral plants in the predicted contamination of non-GM alfalfa from GM alfalfa. If released, GM alfalfa would be the first GM perennial crop introduced in Canada. “While the conditions for contamination in Eastern Canada differ from those in Western Canada where alfalfa seed is produced, contamination in Ontario is assured, as are the economic costs to farmers,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

“Our report documents the many means by which farmers can expect to see contamination from GM alfalfa. Contamination is assured, the only question is how long it will take and which will be the first or primary means of gene escape,” said Taarini Chopra, also with the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

“This report puts an end to discussions about coexistence with GM alfalfa, its just not possible.” said Phillip Woodhouse, President of the Ontario Grey County NFU local 344 who also attended an October 2012 meeting of the Canadian Seed Trade Association where the industry attempted to construct a coexistence plan to pave the way for GM alfalfa. “Forage Genetics International appears willing to sacrifice the livelihoods of Ontario farmers to get their product on the market somewhere in Canada.”

“No farmer can shield themselves from this genetic pollution. Does anyone really believe that introducing GM alfalfa into Eastern Canada will protect Prairie farmers from this contamination?” added Woodhouse.

The National Farmers Union-Ontario has called for consumers to support farmers in a Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa on April 9. Ontario farmers have organized protest rallies in 12 communities, outside of constituency offices of federal Members of Parliament as well as outside the Variety Registration office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa where a final rubber-stamp to release Roundup Ready alfalfa is expected any day. There are also 11 rallies confirmed in support of Ontario farmers happening in towns in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan (at the office of the Minister of Agriculture), Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

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For more information: Ann Slater, National Farmers Union, 519-349-2448; Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network 613 241 2267 ext 25, Phillip Woodhouse, National Farmers Union, 519 599 5041. Details on the April 9 Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa, including a list of actions, can be found at www.cban.ca/april9 The report “The Inevitability of Contamination from GM Alfalfa Release in Ontario” can be found at www.cban.ca/alfalfaONreport

 

Join us! April 9 is the Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa!
Outside federal Member of Parliament constituency offices, government and corporate offices in 12 communities in Ontario, and 12 locations in other provinces.
Details at www.cban.ca/april9
Donate today to support the campaign: www.cban.ca/donate
CONFIRMED ACTIONS
All these actions are at noon on the Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa, April 9, 2013, and are hosted by various National Farmers Union locals and supportive community groups. For more details and materials to help promote the actions please see www.cban.ca/april9 Check back for even more confirmed actions!

In Ontario:

Belleville: Office of Daryl Kramp, MP for Prince Edward Hastings, 1 Millennium Parkway. Contact John Della Bosca at 613-471-1234johndb@xplornet.ca

Goderich: Constituency Office of Ben Lobb, 30 Victoria St. North, Please note: 11:30-1:00 Contact: Linda Baumberger 519-832-2953

Guelph: 1 Stone Road W. Check www.cban.ca/april9guelph Guelph. Contact: Donna Jennisonhalojen@rogers.com

Hawkesbury:  Constituency Office of Pierre Lemieux, MP for Glengarry Prescott-Russell, 136 Main St. E. Contact: Les Gills 613-528-4865.

Kingston: To be announced. Contact: Dianne Dowling 613-546-0869 dowling@kos.net
Kitchener-Waterloo: Constituency Office of Peter Braid. 22 King St. South, Waterloo. Contact: Taarini Chopra campaigns@cban.caLambton County: Request to meet with Pat Davidson, MP for Sarnia Lambton. Contact: Tammy Van Troost 519 864 1900 or bearcreekorganics@ebtech.net

London: Constituency Office of Ed Holder, MP for London West, 200-390 Commissioners Rd West. Contact: Malorie stopgmalfalfa@gmail.com
Midland: Meeting with Bruce Stanton MP for Simcoe Dufferin. Contact: Chris Litster, 705-534-7626.
Orangeville:  Constituency Office of David Tilson, MP for Dufferin Caldeon, 299 Broadway St. Contact Michelle at 519-941-1099 or michelle@wholevillage.org.Ottawa: Variety Registration Office, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 59 Camelot Dr. (Nepean) off Merivale Rd near West Hunt Club. See www.cban.ca/april9ottawa Contact: Lucy Sharratt info@cban.ca 613 241 2267 ext 25. Car pooling: contact Paul at paulslomp@gmail.com

Owen Sound: Constituency Office of Larry Miller, MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, 1131 2nd Avenue East. Contact: Philip Woodhouse, 519 599 5041pwoodhouse9@gmail.com

Toronto: Outside St Lawrence Market (on the sidewalk). 95 Front St E. Seewww.cban.ca/april9toronto

Stratford: Constituency Office of Gary Schellenberger, MP for Perth Wellington. 544 Huron St. Contact: Ann Slater, aslater@quadro.net 519-349-2448

Outside Ontario:
Wolfville, NS: Constituency Office of Scott Brison, MP for Kings-Hants. 24 Harbourside Drive, Suite 101A
Lévis (Québec): Devant les bureaux du députe et ministre conservateur Steven Blaney 115, route du Président Kennedy, Bureau 101 (bureau principal) Contact: contact@infoogm.qc.ca
 

Montréal (Québec): Devant les bureaux d’agriculture Canada 2001, University. Contact:contact@infoogm.qc.ca

 

Brandon, MB: Office of MP Merve Tweed, 8-223 18th St N. Ian Robson 204 858-2479 –ILrobson@xplornet.ca
North Battleford, SK: Constituency Office of Gerry Ritz, MP for Battlefords—Lloydminster and Minister of Agriculture. 1322 100th Street. Contact: Glenn Tait, gttait@sasktel.net; 306 481 4449
Calgary AB: To be announced. Hosted by Community Natural Foods.
Camrose, AB: Constituency Office of Kevin Sorenson (MP for Crowfoot) 4945 – 50 Street, Camrose. We will meet at The University of Alberta Augustana Campus 4901 46 Ave, Camrose at 10 AM to prepare for the rally. We will walk from the campus to our MP’s office at 12 PM. * There will also be a Film Night April 4 at the Augustana Campus at 7pm where anyone interested can watch a documentary about GMO’s. The movie night will be followed by a discussion about what people can do to create change. Contact: Takota Coen takota_coen@live.com 780-781-5929Edmonton, AB:  Constituency Office of Laurie Hawn, MP for Edmonton-Central. 11156 – 142 ST NW. Contact: Dana 780-995-9234

Duncan, BC: Charles Hoey Park in downtown Duncan. Jean Crowder, the MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan. Contact: Cowichan Green Community: info@cowichangreencommunity.ca 250-748-8506
Nelson, BC: To be announced

Vernon, BC: Constituency Office of Colin Mayes. 3105 29 St. Contact: Kelsi Evans kelsievans@hotmail.ca

Thank you for taking action!
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