GM Alfalfa - Day of Action Apr 9

Join Farmers to Stop the Release of GM Alfalfa!

Day of Action: April 9

Tuesday April 9, 2013

12 noon to 1 pm

Outside MP offices

GM alfalfa is an urgent threat now - companies want to introduce GM alfalfa

Read on for more info on a call to action for April 9th to help stop the release of GE alfalfa. This is an incredibly important and urgent issue. Since alfalfa is an insect-pollinated crop, the risk of contamination from GE to non-GE alfalfa is very high. Alfalfa is a widely-used forage crop and a very important feed protein and nitrogen-fixing soil builder for orgnic farms. Please come out & spread the word!

What is Alfalfa?
Alfalfa, popularly called the “Queen of Forages,” is an extremely important and widely grown crop in farming systems in Canada. It is perennial, and is pollinated by insects, mostly bees. Alfalfa is grown - usually as a mix with other grass species - to produce high-quality hay for livestock, and is a critical ingredient for the organic dairy sector. The hay bales we see across our rural landscape often include alfalfa. Farmers include alfalfa in crop rotations to fix nitrogen in the soil, and to build soil fertility and organic matter. It also helps stop soil erosion, controls weeds, and is an important export crop.

What is GM alfalfa?
A company called Forage Genetics International has applied Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready (herbicide resistant) technology to alfalfa. Canadian regulatory authorities have approved GM alfalfa for eating and growing, but the company needs to complete one more step, called variety registration, before it can sell GM alfalfa. This last step could be completed as soon as this April.

The GM Alfalfa Threat
Since alfalfa is a perennial plant that is pollinated by bees, GM 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, and now the industry is trying to introduce GM alfalfa in Eastern Canada. If it is 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.

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 your Members of Parliament in their constituency offices. Bring your banners. Bring your voices. Together we can stop the release of GM alfalfa in Canada.

What Else Can I Do to Help?

  1. Help spread the word about April 9 to groups in your community and ask them to get involved. Help publicize a local action by putting up posters, handing out flyers, and posting through email and facebook.
  2. Collect signatures on the petition to stop GM alfalfa and bring them to your MP on April 9. See
  3. Order GM Alfalfa action postcards for distribution in your community by emailing

For further details please contact Lucy Sharratt at the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN): 613 241 2267 ext. 25 or More information at

 This call for action was issued by the National Farmers Union-Ontario

Back to March 2013 Newsletter