Let your MP know that on June 7th, alfalfa farmers told the House of Commons Agriculture Committee that they support the Bill C-474:
“Bill C-474 is the first step in offering some protection in the future for Canadian family farms. Market acceptance must be made part of the evaluation process and incorporated into the Seeds Regulation Act.” - Kelvin Einarson, Director and Secretary Treasurer, Manitoba Forage Seed Association Inc.
This summer you can take action in your community to support Bill C-474 and alfalfa farmers. MPs need to hear from you this Summer and then again in the Fall, before the final vote on Bill C-474. For information and action options check http://www.cban.ca/474
More excerpts from June 7th testimony:
“Forage producers support Bill C-474 because we believe it would have the ability to protect the alfalfa industry from the truly dangerous effects of introducing GMO varieties that are not approved by our customers.” - Jim Lintott, Chairman, Manitoba Forage Council.
“The bill is perfect the way it stands. It's a perfect requirement. Why would you produce anything with no market for it?” - Jim Lintott, Chairman, Manitoba Forage Council.
“…the point is that we have a situation where we have a large corporate entity that does not care about the farmer's ability to market that product. They are moving that product, specifically the Roundup Ready alfalfa, and pushing that thing through regardless of market resistance from the producer and the consumer end.” - Jim Lintott, Chairman, Manitoba Forage Council.
“In closing, it has been said that Bill C-474 will create another layer of “red tape” for seed companies to go through in order to sell seeds in Canada. I feel this is better than creating “red ink” on the producer's bottom line.” - Kurt Shmon, President, Imperial Seed Ltd.
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 email@example.com www.cban.ca
Please circulate this call for action. Issued: April 17, 2010
April 17 is the International Day of Peasant Struggle called by La Via Campesina, the international small-scale farmers movement, with the theme “Say “No” to Corporate Control of Agriculture and Food.” Stop Monsanto’s GE Alfalfa!
This April, take Action to stop contamination.
Send some tiny alfalfa seeds to your Member of Parliament! Tell the government to stop Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa. Help your Member of Parliament see how tiny alfalfa seeds really are – and why no one will be able to stop contamination if they allow Monsanto’s GE alfalfa in Canada.
1. Print out our sample letter or write your own letter to the Minister and/or to your MP. 2. Look up your MP’s mailing address at www.parl.gc.ca. 3. Buy some organic alfalfa seeds at your local health food store. Tape a few alfalfa seeds to your letter or draw a picture of this tiny seed! 4. Post - No stamp necessary!
This action continues through the Spring –you can also: • Organize a little alfalfa sprout stand at your local health food store (contact CBAN for an action kit). • Screen the “The World According to Monsanto” for your community or friends (order your copy from CBAN).
You can also work to support Bill C-474 in April and May – a Bill that could stop GE alfalfa! For more information: http://www.cban.ca/474
Thank you for taking action to support Canadian farmers and stop Monsanto – in solidarity with small-scale farmers across the world.
Why is alfalfa important? Alfalfa seeds are tiny but play a huge role in food and farming - that means big trouble if GE alfalfa contaminates our crops. It’s not just the green sprouts in your sandwich – alfalfa is fed to dairy and beef cows, and organic farmers use it to improve soil fertility without chemical fertilizers. GE contamination of alfalfa would severely impact the entire food system. As well as negatively affecting conventional grain growers and livestock farmers, GE alfalfa could end organic grain and livestock farming as we know it.
What is the Day of Peasant Struggle? On April 17th 1996, nineteen landless Brazilian peasants who were defending their right to produce food by demanding access to land were massacred by the military police. Since the massacre at El Dorado dos Carajás, every year on this date actions are organised around the world by farmers’ organisations, communities, student groups, non-governmental organizations and activists, in order to demand food sovereignty and peasants’ rights to produce food. La Via Campesina says that transnational corporations (TNCs) “exacerbate poverty and economic recession, worldwide. As they consolidate their control over lands and agricultural markets, TNCs expel small farmers and peasants from their lands and reduce employment opportunities in rural areas, thereby swelling urban slums with even more desperate and unemployed families. TNCs are making huge profits while hunger and poverty are on the rise.” http://www.viacampesina.org
This action is called by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network and endorsed by National Farmers Union http://www.nfu.ca and Union Paysanne http://www.unionpaysanne.com , CBAN members who are also members of La Via Campesina.
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