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APRIL 9 RALLIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO STOP MONSANTO’S GM ALFALFA PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Written by Joan Russow
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:52

 

 


APRIL 9, 12 NOON TO 1PM  

AT 816 GOVERNMENT ST VICTORIA, SEE BELOW FOR OTHER RALLIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY

 Monsanto's GM alfalfa is poised to be released in Ontario. It will only be a matter of time before it is released across Canada. It must be stopped. The National Farmers Union-Ontario has called for consumers to support  farmers in a Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa .This Day of Action will be across the country on April 9 Ontario farmers have organized protest rallies in 12 communities, in Ontario including  in Ottawa where a final rubber-stamp to release Roundup Ready alfalfa is expected any day. On 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.

 

 

 

Monsanto’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.

For more information on rally in VictoriA , please contact Joan Russow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

or for more information see Canadian Biotechnology Action Network Report

http://www.cban.ca/Press/Press-Releases/New-Report-Warns-of-Inevitable-Contamination-if-GM-Alfalfa-Released-in-Ontario

 

BACKGROUND

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 , if  GM alfalfa is released

“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.

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

Click here for the summary of the report.

 

RALLIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Check back for additional action locationsor subscribe to the CBAN News and Action Listserve.

P

Town

Location

Host

Contact

ON

Belleville

Constituency Office of Daryl Kramp, MP for Prince Edward Hastings, 1 Millennium Parkway.

Hosted by NFU Northumberland/ Hastings/ Prince Edward Local 334.

Contact: John Della Bosca at 613-471-1234, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Goderich

Constituency Office of Ben Lobb, 30 Victoria St. North

Hosted by NFU Locals Bruce 320 and Huron 335.

Contact: Linda Baumberger

519-832-2953

ON

Guelph

1 Stone Rd West. (Stone Rd Complex. building with blue windows all around it) March to Monsanto. Street food cooked by local restaurant Artisanale! Come early to park! Click here for important details on this action.

Hosted by NFU Waterloo/ Wellington Local 340, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network,

Council of Canadians - Guelph Chapter, Guelph Wellington Coalition for Social Justice, OPIRG-Guelph

Contact: Donna Jennison This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Hawkesbury

Constituency Office of Pierre Lemieux, MP for Glengarry Prescott-Russell, 136 Main St. E.,

Hosted by NFU Stormont/Dundas/ Glengarry/ Ottawa/Prescott -Russell Local 362.

Contact: Les Gills 613-528-4865

ON

Kingston

To be announced

Hosted by NFU Local 316 – Frontenac, Lennox-Addington

Contact: Dianne Dowling

613-546-0869 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Kitchener-Waterloo

Constituency Office of Peter Braid. 22 King St. South, Waterloo

Hosted by Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

Contact: Taarini Chopra This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

226-606-8240

ON

Lambton County

Request to meet with Pat Davidson, MP for Sarnia Lambton

Hosted by NFU Lambton

Local 328

Contact: Tammy Van Troost 519-864-0939

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

London

Office of Ed Holder, MP for London West, 200-390 Commissioners Rd West

NFU Middlesex Local 312

Malorie This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Midland

Request to meet with Bruce Stanton MP for Simcoe Dufferin.

Hosted by NFU Simcoe/Dufferin Local 347.

Contact Chris Litster, 705-534-7626.

ON

Orangeville

Constituency Office of David Tilson, MP for Dufferin Caldeon, 299 Broadway St., Orangeville.

Hosted by NFU Simcoe/ Dufferin Local 347.

Contact Michelle at 519-941-1099 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Ottawa

Office of Variety Registration, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 59 Camelot Drive (Nepean) off Merivale Rd near West Hunt Club

Hosted by NFU Local 362 – Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Ottawa, Prescott-Russell; 310 – Lanark

Contact: Lucy Sharratt This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 613 241 2267 ext 25

ON

Owen Sound

Office of Larry Miller, MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, 1131 2nd Avenue East.

Hosted by NFU Grey County Local 344.

Contact: Philip Woodhouse, 519 599 5041, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Stratford

Constituency Office of Gary Schellenberger, MP for Perth Wellington. 544 Huron St., Stratford.

Hosted by NFU Perth/Oxford Local 341.

Contact: Ann Slater, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 519-349-2448

ON

Toronto

Outside St Lawrence Market (on the sidewalk). 95 Front St E.

Hosted by The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, No More GMOs Toronto, Kids Right to Know March, Millions Against Monsanto Toronto

Contact: info@ nomoregmos.ca

NS

Wolfville

Constituency Office of Scott Brison, MP for Kings-Hants. 24 Harbourside Drive, Suite 101A. Come and sign the petition!

 

Contact: Holly

Hollystewart @gmail.com

PQ

Montreal

Devant les bureaux d’agriculture Canada. 2001 University.

Hosted by Vigilance OGM

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

PQ

Lévis (Québec)

Devant les bureaux du députe et ministre conservateur Steven Blaney 115, route du Président Kennedy, Bureau 101 (bureau principal)

Hosted by Vigilance OGM

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SK

North Battleford

Constituency Office of Gerry Ritz, MP for Battlefords—Lloydminster and Minister of Agriculture. 1322 100th Street, North Battleford.

Hosted by NFU Local 628.

Contact: Glenn Tait, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; 306 481 4449

AB

Camrose

Constituency Office of Kevin Sorenson (MP for Crowfoot) 4945 - 50 Street

Camrose. We will be meeting 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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

780-781-5929

AB

Edmonton

Constituency Office of Laurie Hawn, MP for Edmonton-Central. 11156 - 142 ST NW

Edmonton

 

Contact: Dana 780-995-9234

AB

Calgary

Constituency Office of Stephen Harper - 1600 - 90th Avenue SW, Suite A-203

 

 

BC

Duncan

Charles Hoey Park in downtown Duncan. Jean Crowder, the MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan

National Farmers Union and the Cowichan Green Community

Contact: Cowichan Green Community: 250-748-8506 or

BC

Nelson

Outside the Kootenay Co-op! 295 Baker Street. Come and sign the petition!

 

 

BC

Vernon

Constituency Office of Colin Mayes. 3105 29 St. Vernon

 

Contact: Kelsi Evans This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

BC

Victoria

816 Government Street

 

Contact Joan Russow This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

 

Check back for additional action locationsor subscribe to the CBAN News and Action Listserve.

P

Town

Location

Host

Contact

ON

Belleville

Constituency Office of Daryl Kramp, MP for Prince Edward Hastings, 1 Millennium Parkway.

Hosted by NFU Northumberland/ Hastings/ Prince Edward Local 334.

Contact: John Della Bosca at 613-471-1234, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Goderich

Constituency Office of Ben Lobb, 30 Victoria St. North

Hosted by NFU Locals Bruce 320 and Huron 335.

Contact: Linda Baumberger

519-832-2953

ON

Guelph

1 Stone Rd West. (Stone Rd Complex. building with blue windows all around it) March to Monsanto. Street food cooked by local restaurant Artisanale! Come early to park! Click here for important details on this action.

Hosted by NFU Waterloo/ Wellington Local 340, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network,

Council of Canadians - Guelph Chapter, Guelph Wellington Coalition for Social Justice, OPIRG-Guelph

Contact: Donna Jennison This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Hawkesbury

Constituency Office of Pierre Lemieux, MP for Glengarry Prescott-Russell, 136 Main St. E.,

Hosted by NFU Stormont/Dundas/ Glengarry/ Ottawa/Prescott -Russell Local 362.

Contact: Les Gills 613-528-4865

ON

Kingston

To be announced

Hosted by NFU Local 316 – Frontenac, Lennox-Addington

Contact: Dianne Dowling

613-546-0869 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Kitchener-Waterloo

Constituency Office of Peter Braid. 22 King St. South, Waterloo

Hosted by Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

Contact: Taarini Chopra This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

226-606-8240

ON

Lambton County

Request to meet with Pat Davidson, MP for Sarnia Lambton

Hosted by NFU Lambton

Local 328

Contact: Tammy Van Troost 519-864-0939

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

London

Office of Ed Holder, MP for London West, 200-390 Commissioners Rd West

NFU Middlesex Local 312

Malorie This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Midland

Request to meet with Bruce Stanton MP for Simcoe Dufferin.

Hosted by NFU Simcoe/Dufferin Local 347.

Contact Chris Litster, 705-534-7626.

ON

Orangeville

Constituency Office of David Tilson, MP for Dufferin Caldeon, 299 Broadway St., Orangeville.

Hosted by NFU Simcoe/ Dufferin Local 347.

Contact Michelle at 519-941-1099 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Ottawa

Office of Variety Registration, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 59 Camelot Drive (Nepean) off Merivale Rd near West Hunt Club

Hosted by NFU Local 362 – Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Ottawa, Prescott-Russell; 310 – Lanark

Contact: Lucy Sharratt This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 613 241 2267 ext 25

ON

Owen Sound

Office of Larry Miller, MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, 1131 2nd Avenue East.

Hosted by NFU Grey County Local 344.

Contact: Philip Woodhouse, 519 599 5041, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ON

Stratford

Constituency Office of Gary Schellenberger, MP for Perth Wellington. 544 Huron St., Stratford.

Hosted by NFU Perth/Oxford Local 341.

Contact: Ann Slater, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 519-349-2448

ON

Toronto

Outside St Lawrence Market (on the sidewalk). 95 Front St E.

Hosted by The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, No More GMOs Toronto, Kids Right to Know March, Millions Against Monsanto Toronto

Contact: info@ nomoregmos.ca

NS

Wolfville

Constituency Office of Scott Brison, MP for Kings-Hants. 24 Harbourside Drive, Suite 101A. Come and sign the petition!

 

Contact: Holly

Hollystewart @gmail.com

PQ

Montreal

Devant les bureaux d’agriculture Canada. 2001 University.

Hosted by Vigilance OGM

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

PQ

Lévis (Québec)

Devant les bureaux du députe et ministre conservateur Steven Blaney 115, route du Président Kennedy, Bureau 101 (bureau principal)

Hosted by Vigilance OGM

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SK

North Battleford

Constituency Office of Gerry Ritz, MP for Battlefords—Lloydminster and Minister of Agriculture. 1322 100th Street, North Battleford.

Hosted by NFU Local 628.

Contact: Glenn Tait, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; 306 481 4449

AB

Camrose

Constituency Office of Kevin Sorenson (MP for Crowfoot) 4945 - 50 Street

Camrose. We will be meeting 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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

780-781-5929

AB

Edmonton

Constituency Office of Laurie Hawn, MP for Edmonton-Central. 11156 - 142 ST NW

Edmonton

 

Contact: Dana 780-995-9234

AB

Calgary

Constituency Office of Stephen Harper - 1600 - 90th Avenue SW, Suite A-203

 

 

BC

Duncan

Charles Hoey Park in downtown Duncan. Jean Crowder, the MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan

National Farmers Union and the Cowichan Green Community

Contact: Cowichan Green Community: 250-748-8506 or

BC

Nelson

Outside the Kootenay Co-op! 295 Baker Street. Come and sign the petition!

 

 

BC

Vernon

Constituency Office of Colin Mayes. 3105 29 St. Vernon

 

Contact: Kelsi Evans This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

BC

Victoria

816 Government Street

 

Contact Joan Russow This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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 MPs 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 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.

NFU logo

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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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. Click here for more information on GM 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 also 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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

What Else Can I Do to Help?

  1. Come out on April 9! Bring your friends and family!
  2. Help spread the word about April 9 to groups in your community, 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 http://www.cban.ca/alfalfapetition
  6. Be a part of the Day of Action even if there is not a rally in your community! Check here 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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 05 April 2013 17:07
 

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