by Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
On March 2, 2011, the Liberal members of the House of Commons Agriculture Committee put forward a motion for a moratorium on the approval of GM alfalfa. The Agriculture Committee needs to vote for this motion as soon as they can.
Why is Alfalfa Important? Alfalfa is used as pasture and high-protein feed for animals like dairy cows, beef cattle, lambs, 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 of organic food and farming in the North America.
Alfalfa growers do not need or want GM alfalfa and have been trying to stop it for at least five years. 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.
Write the Liberals before Thursday March 10th to ask them to do everything they can to make the motion a priority.
Write your letter instantly! Just fill out the form below.
Feel free to edit and customize the letter.
Your letter will automatically go to the three Liberals on the Agriculture Committee:
Hon. Wayne Easter, Liberal Agriculture Critic
Mr. Francis Valeriote, MP for Guelph (Ontario)
Hon. Mark Eyking, MP for Sydney-Victoria (Nova Scotia)
UPDATE : 1:40 pm
Conservative Members of Parliament purposefully delayed a vote on the motion for a moratorium on GM alfalfa at today’s Agriculture Committee meeting! A full hour was spent discussing the motion for a moratorium without a vote ever being called. First, Conservatives protested putting the motion ahead of others but the Chair, Conservative Larry Miller, allowed the GM alfalfa motion to be debated. Then the Conservatives delayed with their comments until the meeting time ran out. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc members all support the moratorium so if the vote had happened today, the motion would have been approved and the motion would have passed to the House of Commons for a vote! The motion will be debated at the next Committee meeting which could be March 22. 16 members of the public, including farmers, attended the Committee meeting on March 10 to witness Conservative delay tactics first hand.
TAKE NEW ACTION
You can write to your Member of Parliament today in one new easy letter by going to http://www.cban.ca/alfalfaction
You can also write to the Conservative members of the Agriculture Committee in one new easy letter at http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa
THE IMPACT OF YOUR ACTIONS
The motion for a moratorium is a direct result of your actions:
- Over 13,000 of you wrote to members of the Agriculture Committee over the past 6 days!
- Your actions all last year to support Bill C-474 made this motion happen
- Tens of thousands of people wrote to their MPs about Bill C-474 and GMOs.
- 126 organizations and companies have signed on to the statement against GM alfalfa.
For more information, updates and other action options including a petition to send to your MP see http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa