stop GE alfalfa

Here’s the latest action from Beyond Factory Farming:

Protect Organic Food! Support Organic Farmers!

Stop GE Alfalfa! Take Action before February 16.

The U.S. will approve Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa unless we stop them. Organic food and farming in the U.S. and Canada is under immediate threat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its draft Environmental Impact Statement on GE alfalfa and is accepting comments until end of day Feb 16, 2010.

They say:
–       Contamination of organic food from GE alfalfa will happen but it doesn’t really matter.

–       Consumers don’t care if organic food is contaminated with GE alfalfa.

–       GE alfalfa will result in fewer small farmers and fewer organic farmers but that’s okay.

Tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) you DO care about organic food and organic farmers!

Organic farming bans the use of genetically engineered organisms. Stop Monsanto from destroying organic farming in the U.S. and Canada!

1. A sample letter – for Canadian organic consumers to send – is below. You can submit your letter at (copy and paste the whole URL) :www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=0900006480a6b7a1

2. We also invite all organizations, producer associations, companies and community groups to endorse the No to GE Alfalfa campaign by signing on the statement opposing GE alfalfa in Canada. Go here to sign on http://www.cban.ca/content/view/full/631

For more information, action and background: http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa

Sample Letter

Most of the organic food we eat in Canada is imported from the U.S.. I am deeply concerned that the U.S. may allow plantings of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa which I know will result in the contamination of organic alfalfa in the U.S. and Canada. I do not want to eat GE foods which is one reason why I choose to buy certified organic food.

The national organic standards in both the U.S. and Canada prohibit the use of genetically engineered organisms. This is a central tenet of organics. For example, animals used for certified organic meat, milk, eggs, and other animal products need 100 percent organic feed. Alfalfa is used widely for livestock feed, including for dairy cows.

The USDA claims that consumers will not reject GE contamination in organic alfalfa if the contamination is unintentional or if the transgenic material is not transmitted to the end milk or meat product. This is simply not the case. I am a Canadian consumer of U.S. organic foods and food ingredients and I care deeply about the integrity of certified organic foods, and GE is fundamentally not organic.

The GE contamination of organic alfalfa would severely impact the entire organic system in the U.S. and Canada, especially because many different types of organic farmers plant alfalfa to improve soil fertility. This important technique makes it possible to farm successfully without using chemical fertilizers. Contamination by GE alfalfa would eliminate this valuable tool, causing severe economic and agronomic costs to organic farmers.

I care about the livelihoods of small-scale organic farmers, and the future of organic farming in North America.

Farmers’ have a fundamental right to sow the seeds of their choice but this choice can be eliminated by GE contamination. This happened in Canada when prairie organic grain farmers had to stop growing canola because there was no way to prevent contamination by cross-pollination with GE canola during the growing season, even if farmers could find uncontaminated seed for planting.

Organic farming is a good environmental choice. It provides healthy food grown without pesticides or GE organisms, and it builds better soil. The future of organic farming is threatened by GE alfalfa.

As a consumer, I care about the contamination of organic foods from GE alfalfa.

The USDA should reject the deregulation of GE alfalfa to protect organic farming and food in the U.S. and Canada, and protect the U.S. organic food trade to Canada.

You can submit your letter (Docket No. APHIS-2007-0044) at: www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=0900006480a6b7a1

For more information, action and background: http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa or contact Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6 coordinator@cban.ca
This action alert was produced by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) and the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) http://www.cban.ca/alfalfa

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