START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Mar 22, 2010
Focus: Health
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: Canada
E-mal received from CBAN:
Action Alert. Please distribute widely.

Action Alert #2:

Support Bill C-474 – before Monday March 29, 2010 - Support Canada’s Farmers! You can stop GE Alfalfa and GE Wheat!

Write a letter to your MP instantly from  Take action this week! before March 29, 2010.

Your actions gave the Bill another chance! Private Members Bill C-474 will be debated for a second hour in Parliament March 29. The vote will happen a few days later. Even if you have already written your MP, you are encouraged to send another letter before March 29

Your concrete action could stop genetically engineered (GE) seeds from causing chaos in Canadian farming!

Bill C-474 would require that “an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted.” The Bill could stop GE alfalfa and GE wheat.

This Bill is critically important because, as we know from experience, the introduction of new genetically engineered (GE) crops can cause economic hardship to farmers. Farmers are at risk when GE crops are commercialized in Canada without also being approved in our major export markets.

Flax farmers in Canada are now paying a heavy price because of this exact problem. Late last year, Canadian flax exports were discovered contaminated with a GE flax that is not approved in Europe or in any of our other export markets (except the U.S.). Flax farmers actually foresaw that GE contamination or even the threat of contamination would close their export markets. That's why they took steps in 2001 to remove GE flax from the market. Despite this measure, flax farmers were not protected. The GE flax contamination closed our export markets in 2009. It has created market uncertainty and depressed prices. Farmers are also paying for testing and cleanup and may be required to abandon their own farm-saved flax seed and buy certified seed instead. These costs are an unnecessary and preventable burden.

We cannot allow GE seeds to harm our export markets. Please support Bill C-474 and protect Canada’s farmers.

Write a letter to your MP instantly from  Take action before March 29, 2010.

Bill C-474 was introduced by Alex Atamanenko, the NDP Agriculture Critic and MP for British Columbia Southern Interior.

For updates, more info and action options  see or contact Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network 613 241 2267 ext. 6

This action alert was issued by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)

Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator 
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) 
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice 
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor 
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5 
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506 
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Posted: Mar 22, 2010 10:13am
Feb 5, 2010

Your Food, Your Choice: Grounds for Change

Posted: 04 Feb 2010 08:00 AM PST

Do you recognize that guy in the picture? (Art via COG Toronto)

COG Toronto is holding its annual conference with an impressive line up of speakers in the organics movement including Baerbel Hoehm, the first Agricultural Minister for the German Green Party and Michael Schmidt, the raw milk dairy farmer. The event will happen on Saturday, February 20, 2010 9 am to 5 pm at the University of Toronto Conference Centre (89 Chestnut St.., Toronto).


Baerbel Hoehm, the first Agricultural Minister for Germany from the Green Party will be sharing insights on what the German Government accomplished under her direction to support organic farming. In addition, we have just confirmed Michael Schmidt, the dairy farmer from Durham who was recently acquitted of all criminal charges relating to the sale and distribution of raw milk and raw milk products.

Check out our website for the latest on the conference program and our speakers.

In Summary

COG Toronto’s Annual Conference
Saturday, February 20, 2010
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
University of Toronto Conference Centre
89 Chestnut St., Toronto


We are also looking forward to hearing from Percy Schmeiser, the Saskatchewan farmer who challenged Monsanto, Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada to speak as one of the panel on Land vs Development: Questions about the Greenbelt, Tom Manley, President of Homestead Organics, who will speak on the panel about Slow Money, and Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project which is helping retailers take products containing GMO’s off their shelves.


There will be other great sessions in three streams, one for the Grower, one for the Eater and one for the Reformer, as well as a delicious organic lunch, a special song composed especially for the conference, a reading by Margaret Webb, author of Apples to Oysters: A Food Lover’s Tour of Canadian Farms, and a presentation to Wilhelm and Barnhild Pfenning of the Lifetime Organic Hero Award. This conference is not to be missed!


Presented by Canadian Organic Growers in association with The Big Carrot
$65 ($85 after Jan. 31); COG members $55
Rates for seniors, students and unwaged
Organic lunch included !
Info and registration: or 416-466-4420

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Posted: Feb 5, 2010 6:57am
Jan 20, 2010
Focus: Health
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: United States

Received in an e-mail


Appeal to farmers and consumers - Act now to stop GM alfalfa.

Send your comments to the US Department of Agriculture by February 16, 2010.

Its not yet legal for Monsanto to sell its GM alfalfa seeds in Canada but a US injunction on planting in that country could soon be overturned. If GM alfalfa is planted in the US, it will quickly contaminate our food system as well as Canadian alfalfa crops. It will also lead to the legalization of GM alfalfa in Canada (Canada approved Monsanto's GM Roundup Ready alfalfa in 2005 but it still needs variety registration as a last step before commercialization here).

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA ) was court-ordered to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS ) on alfalfa and GM alfalfa plantings were halted until this EIS was satisfactorily completed. This draft EIS is now out for comment until February 16. Farmers and their organizations in Canada are encouraged to send comments about the expected impact of GM alfalfa contamination. Consumers are also asked to express their concern.

Our strong action could stop GM alfalfa and result in an unprecedented ruling about the real contamination risks of GM.

Please take one of these three actions:

1. Send comments from the web: Our partner in the US, The Center of Food Safety, has launched an action where consumers and farmers can send comments from their website

2. Coordinate with us to write your substantial comments - Please also send us your comments and cc them to the Minister of Agriculture and Agriculture Critics from other Parties. Contact Lucy Sharratt, CBAN Coordinator at 613 241 2267 ext.6 or

3. Sign your group to the "No to GMO Alfalfa" statement

The "No to GMO Alfalfa" Campaign in Canada is coordinated by the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

For more information: 
613 241 2267 ext. 6

Tell the US Government That You Care About GE Contamination of Organic Food!

In 2006, the Center for Food Safety (CFS ) sued the Department of Agriculture (USDA ) for its illegal approval of Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE ) Roundup Ready alfalfa.  The federal courts sided with CFS and banned GE alfalfa until the USDA fully analyzed the impacts of the plant on the environment, farmers, and the public in a rigorous analysis known as an environmental impact statement (or EIS ). USDA released its draft EIS on December 14, 2009.  A 60-day comment period is now open until February 16, 2010.  This is the first time the USDA has done this type of analysis for any GE crop.  Therefore, the final decision will have broad implications for all GE crops.

CFS has begun analyzing the EIS and it is clear that the USDA has not taken the concerns of non-GE alfalfa farmers, organic dairies, or consumers seriously.  USDA’s preliminary determination is to once again deregulate GE alfalfa without any limitations or protections for farmers or the environment. Instead USDA has completely dismissed the fact that contamination will threaten export and domestic markets and organic meat and dairy products.  And, incredibly, USDA is claiming that there is no evidence that consumers care about such GE contamination of organic!

USDA also claims that consumers will not reject GE contamination of organic alfalfa if the contamination is unintentional or if the transgenic material is not transmitted to the end milk or meat product, despite the fact that more than 75% of consumers believe that they are purchasing products without GE ingredients when they buy organic.

USDA claims that Monsanto’s seed contracts require measures sufficient to prevent genetic contamination, and that there is no evidence to the contrary. But in the lawsuit requiring this document, the Court found that contamination had already occurred in the fields of several Western states with these same business-as-usual practices in place!

USDA predicts that the approval of GE alfalfa would damage family farms and organic markets, yet doesn’t even consider any limitations or protections against this scenario.  Small, family farmers are the backbone and future of American agriculture and must be protected. Organic agriculture provides many benefits to society: healthy foods for consumers, economic opportunities for family farmers and urban and rural communities, and a farming system that improves the quality of the environment. However, the continued vitality of this sector is imperiled by the complete absence of measures to protect organic production systems from GE contamination and subsequent environmental, consumer, and economic losses.

Tell USDA That You DO Care About GE Contamination of Organic Crops and Food!

This alert was published by the Organic Agriculture Protection Fund of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. January 2010.
Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator 
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN ) 
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice 
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor 
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5 
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
Fax: 613 241 2506 

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Posted: Jan 20, 2010 5:09am
Jan 8, 2009

Received from Organic Consumers Association:

Studies of the Week:
Multiple 2008 Studies Confirm Genetically Modified Crops Damage Human Health and the Environment

GMO Although genetically modified (GM) corn is banned in most of the world, it has been approved as "safe" for human consumption in the U.S. for 12 years and is now likely unknowingly consumed, in one form or another, by more than 90% of Americans on a regular basis. But a recent series of peer-reviewed studies were published in 2008 confirming previous studies indicating potentially severe health and environmental problems associated with the biotech crops. Recent alarming scientific research includes:

1) A new long term study by the Austrian government confirms previous findings that consumption of GM corn, for as little as 20 weeks, can damage the reproductive system, lower fertility rates and increase illness and death rates in offspring.

Learn more

2) Researchers in Mexico reported in December that some popular varieties of GM corn negatively affect the learning response of bees. Scientists say this may be an indicator of the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, a recent catastrophic and mysterious die-off of as much as 30% of the world's honey bee population in the past couple of years.
Learn more

3) In Italy, scientists published a study that put the biotech industry in a public relations tailspin. In the study, laboratory tests showed a direct connection between consumption of GM corn and a damaged immune system.
Learn more

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Posted: Jan 8, 2009 6:56am


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Elena P.
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Toronto, ON, Canada
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