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Ecology Action Centre and Raging Grannies join call for moratorium on genetically modified alfalfa

by Ecology Action Centre


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013. As part of a national effort against the registration of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa, the Ecology Action Centre and the Raging Grannies presented petitions containing over 375 signatures to Megan Leslie, Member of Parliament for Halifax.  Additional petitions were dropped off at other constituency offices in HRM.

 

“Genetically modified alfalfa would be disastrous for farmers in Canada,” said Marla MacLeod, Food Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre. “Genetically modified alfalfa would contaminate organic farming systems and both conventional and organic farmers could lose access to markets. We want Parliament to impose a moratorium on the release of genetically modified alfalfa in order to allow proper review of the impact on farmers in Canada.”

 

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network stated, "Farmers aren't consulted at all before new GM crops are introduced, and our government doesn't even look into potential economic costs first. The urgent threat of GM alfalfa tells us that farmers and consumers need to be a part of decisions over new GM crops and foods."

 

Forage Genetics International has applied Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready (herbicide resistant) technology to alfalfa. They are currently seeking variety registration so that the GM alfalfa can be grown commercially in Canada.

 

Alfalfa is an important crop for both the dairy industry and organic agriculture in Canada. Alfalfa is a hardy perennial crop that is excellent at controlling weeds, and has been hailed as the wonder crop for organic farming. When under-seeded with other types of grass it creates the main crop forage used to feed dairy cattle across Canada. The dairy farmers of Ontario and over 127 farming and consumer groups in Canada all oppose the introduction of genetically modified alfalfa.  Because alfalfa is insect-pollinated, GM alfalfa will be quickly cross-pollinated with non-GM alfalfa and genetic contamination will be evitable.

 

 

For more information, contact:

 

Marla MacLeod, Food Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre

902-442-1077

 

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

613-241-2267 ext 25

 

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Topics: FoodHealth
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