Sunday, March 24, 2013

STOP GM ALFALFA - Take Action on April 9th 2013

We ask that you take the time to read all this information.  Grab a cup of tea, coffee or even a glass of wine.  As this will effect all our futures.   

I will be honest, fifteen years ago I would not have put the two together but what animals eat directly effects us and our environment. People may laugh about this but I see the look I had 15 years ago in so many peoples faces when our food production is spoken about and the effects that chemicals and GMO's  are having on our food. This then effects the farmer and the consumer.
So many of us are used to walking into a grocery store, looking at a piece of meat in a foam tray covered in plastic. You then check the best before date and price, you then might be tempted to put that tray back and pick another one up that is nearer the back as it might be larger, fresher or slightly cheaper. Most consumers however would not at any point have thought of the life that animal had lived before it ended up on a shelf, let alone what those animals had been fed during their life time.
Having been born and raised in a city environment like so many I had a huge separation from where my food came from and how it was raised. I would never even have started to contemplate what it had consumed.  Over the last fifteen years the journey I have gone through, from shopping at local farmers markets, to learning about my food I eat and then finally becoming a farmer myself I now have a great appreciation for all aspects of the food chain and production.  People do laugh at our passion but what is life if we do not have passion for it and what we believe.  
We care for the families we feed and also have a huge responsibility to them.  

Recently I watched an interview with Prince Charles on BBC World News as he spoke about preserving our environment and farm land. He said something that I think we should all think about. He did not want his grand children asking him "Why he did nothing?" I think this statement  should make us all think.  Michael and I are not parents but we are Aunts and Uncles.  I love being an Aunt but I want to be able to answer my niece and nephew honestly when they question me. I want to say that I stood up and fought for what I believed in and tried to make sure they still have a future that gives them the freedom of choice.  We are never too old or too young to join the fight.  Many will say it won't make any difference and that we are younger so it is our fight now, but it will not change if we maintain the attitude that nothing will change. 

I think what amazes me in the society we live in is when you read the news and see countries poorer than our own say NO to GMO. They have the guts to stand up to the multinational corporations who are making the money from it, but sadly so many other countries are too scared to say NO or maybe not scared but have something else stopping them from saying no?  The farmers aren't making a profit from it! They spend more on seed, more on sprays to kill weeds, so think, who are the people who are making the money?  We are now at the stage we have super weeds as they are becoming resistant to those sprays.  Farmers who choose not to buy GMO seeds then become scared that companies like Monsanto are going to sue them if the DNA from their GMO seeds are found on their land.  (Those sprays not only kill weeds, but poison our waterways, kill our pollinators and drain our soil of any nutrients).

The biggest commodity which is going to be effected straight away from GM Alfalfa is Organic Milk.   Organic Dairy cows have to be out on pasture so many days a year and have to be fed GMO Free food this includes GM FREE ALFALFA.  If GM Alfalfa is planted in neighbouring fields these Organic farmers have no way to stop the pollinators from cross pollinating their alfalfa fields.  We can not line these pollinators up first thing in the morning and tell them which fields they can go to and which ones to stay clear of! They don't know the difference between the two. This will effect the farmers ability to save seed. It could also make them Liable to Monsanto and the like for GMO seed they never even planted. Many farmers in similar situations have been bankrupted by Monsanto for not paying royalties for their patented seed!

We are slowly destroying our environment because of a demand for cheap food.  But it is time for all of us to stand together and show we want a better future.  I want to leave this farm knowing I have made a difference to the land, and the animals that have lived here.

For the consumer who wants to eat pasture raised beef and pork or have Organic dairy products it will be to the stage that, yes, you are eating pasture raised but that animal has consumed GM Alfalfa and as   for Organic Dairies they will not exist!

It really is time to take action, if you believe in good food, family farms, farms that have been farmed ethically and also farmers being able to make a living from the land rather than having to get second jobs to feed their families, but most importantly having a freedom of choice and not feeding the  multinational corporations.  Now is the time to stand up and be counted.  

What I have written above is my opinion and my views..

Below is the information for STOP GM Alfalfa form Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.  Which will explain why we need your help and why this is every one's fight not just the farmers.
Please read and watch the videos to see how this will effect the food chain and farmers and you.

For those of you who are in Hastings County we will be rallying in Belleville on April 9th. Please take the time to come to the offices of Daryl Kramp on Millennium Drive from 12-1pm.  Many people are giving up their lunch hours to show their support.  Please join us, it is your fight just as much as it is ours.


Day of Action, April 9 2013

This call for action was issued by the National Farmers Union-Ontario.
Tony McQuail and grandson Oct 2012
Bring your banners. Bring your voices. Together we can stop the release of GM alfalfa in Canada. Photo: Tony McQuail and grandson. Oct 24 2012 protest against GM alfalfa, Kitchener-Waterloo ON.
Industry Pushing to Release Alfalfa Via Ontario
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.
On Oct 24, 2012 the Canadian Seed Trade Association held a meeting in Kitchener-Waterloo to decide on a "coexistence" plan for GM alfalfa, to pave the way for introducing GM alfalfa into Canada via Ontario. 120 farmers and supporting consumers protested outside the meeting. Phillip Woodhouse, president of NFU Grey County Local 344 says the term ‘co-existence’ is merely industry spin meant to allay farmers' concerns about contamination. “Make no mistake - GM alfalfa will cross-pollinate with non-GM and organic alfalfa and will threaten the very livelihoods of Ontario’s family farmers," he warned.
Stop GM Alfalfa Send Your Letter 2
Share the video with your friends and family, screen the video at community events and film fests! You can request the file from us for screening. Click here to find out more information about the people behind the video.

Take Instant Action

More Actions

  1. Share the video with your friends and family on facebook, embed the video on your website, "Like" the video!
  2. Screen the video at your local events, include it in your local film fests.
  3. Get signatures on the petition.
  4. Print and download the flyer about GM alfalfa.
  5. Ask your local health food store to put up this attractive poster about GM alfalfa! The store could also collect signatures on the petition, screen the video or display alfalfa-related foods!
  6. Order buttons for your community group or event. Contact us.
  7. Join the GM Alfalfa Campaign Action Listserve.
  8. Donate today to support the campaign. Thank you for your support!
  9. Send us your action ideas and share photos from your community. Contact us.
    Stop GM Alfalfa Button 2
    Double your donation Nov 30 high

Even More Actions!

  1. If your Member of Parliament is a Conservative: Click here for important action suggestions that could make a huge difference!
  2. Farmers: you can send us your testimonials about how alfalfa will impact your farm business. Email Lucy at
  3. Farmers: We need videos of you talking about how important alfalfa is to your farm - What is alfalfa? Why is GM alfalfa such a big threat?
  4. Groups and Businesses: Your group can sign the No to GE Alfalfa campaign statement. Please encourage organizations, producer associations, companies and community groups to sign!
  5. Retailers: Download and print this poster for your store!
  6. Retailers: Coming soon: "GM Alfalfa Campaign Action Kit for Retailers". Let us know if you are interested in receiving one.


Summary: Alfalfa growers do not need or want GM alfalfa and have been trying to stop it for at least five years. Organic food and farming in the U.S. and Canada is under immediate threat from GM alfalfa. Conventional farmers will also lose their markets. The introduction of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa would have serious negative impacts on many different types of farmers and farming systems, both conventional and organic. Because alfalfa is a perennial crop pollinated by bees, GM contamination is inevitable. GM alfalfa was actually approved in Canada in 2005 but still needs to go through one more step before it can be legally sold as seed in Canada.
leafcutter bee on alfalfa flowers
Why is Alfalfa Important? Alfalfa (harvested as hay) is used as high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, poultry and pigs and is also used to build up nutrients in the soil, making it particularly important for organic farming. If introduced, GM alfalfa would ruin export markets for alfalfa products and threaten the future organic food and farming in the North America.

What are Farmers Saying about GM Alfalfa?

Conventional and organic farmers agree that GM alfalfa is not wanted or needed: What conventional alfalfa producers told the House of Commons Agriculture Committee, June 7, 2010
Harmony Milk and Stop GM Alfalfa
Harmony Organic Dairy Co-op says Stop GM Alfalfa


Before the U.S. decided to allow GM alfalfa plantings in early 2011, groups in Canada sent their comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in response to their Draft Environmental Impact Statement on alfalfa. Read the about on the predicted impacts of GM alfalfa and the experience of GM contamination in Canada:

The Campaign So Far

Stop Monsanto button
Before the Federal election in Canada, May 2011: Conservative Members of Parliament purposefully delayed a vote (twice) on a motion for a moratorium on GM alfalfa at Agriculture Committee meetings. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Members all supported the moratorium so if the Conservatives had allowed the vote, the motion would have been approved and the motion would have passed to the House of Commons for a vote. The motion was proposed by the Liberal members of the House of Commons Agriculture Committee after huge public pressure to support Bill C-474 which would have required an assessment of export market harm before any new GM seed was permitted.
In 2007 a judge ruled that the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) approval of GM alfalfa was illegal and ordered the Department to conduct an environmental risk assessment to look into farmer concerns about contamination. In December 2009, the USDA released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for comment (this is the first time it has conducted this type of analysis for any GM crop). Canadian groups sent in their comments (see above) but in January 2011, the U.S. approved plantings of GM alfalfa. Resistance continues in the U.S.

Join the Campaign

Invitation from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network and the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate:
The commercialization of genetically modified alfalfa -- GM Alfalfa -- planned by Monsanto and Forage Genetics International, would have a severe, negative impact on Canadian agriculture, markets, and our environment. A united effort by agriculture producer groups, consumer and environmental organizations, as well as concerned individuals, will prevent this from happening. A similar campaign stopped GM wheat in 2004.
This is your invitation to join together to put the brakes on GM Alfalfa.
We invite all organizations, producer associations, companies and community groups to endorse the "No to GM Alfalfa" campaign by signing on to the following statement (Your group’s name will be used in a list of groups that state opposition to GM Alfalfa):
  • We oppose the sale, trade and production of GMO Alfalfa in Canada.
  • We ask the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to reassess its approval for environmental release of GMO Alfalfa.
  • We want the public to understand the hazards, costs and market losses that would result if GMO Alfalfa were released into our environment.
Sign the statement here! or email for more info.
The Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) is a Member of CBAN. SOD is the umbrella group for the organic sector in Saskatchewan. In 2001 the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund Committeewas established by SOD in order to protect organic farms and food from contamination by GMOs. The OAPF Committee provided support to the legal action against Monsanto and Bayer to bring about an injunction to stop the commercialization of GMO wheat, and to make the biotech companies liable for losses to organic farmers due to contamination of certified organic crops and fields by GMO canola. In 2004 Monsanto withdrew its application to have GMO wheat approved in Canada.
For more information contact:
OAPF Chairperson, Arnold Taylor at (306) 252-2075, or Lucy Sharratt at the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) (613) 241-2267 ext.25, or