Friday, 01 March 2013 18:17

GM alfalfa may be planted in spring

Lucy Sharatt from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network has just confirmed that the Ontario Forage Crop Committee has recommended up to 6 Roundup Ready alfalfa varieties for registration and there are more on the table - this means that seed distribution companies now will ask the CFIA for registration of those varieties and could get final registration in time for spring planting. The registration could happen this month.

The first step is for individuals, commodity groups and farm organizations (and businesses) to write to the CFIA asking them to immediately halt any registration of RR alfalfa given the unresolved questions and huge economic stakes involved and then to also write to the Minister of Agriculture who did reassure farmers that he had oversight and that RR alfalfa would not be registered soon, or without his approval. Below is an article where Minister Ritz says he won't approve the GE Alfalfa.

Letters to the CFIA could be directed to Mark Forhan (he is back in the office on Monday if you want to call him next week!):

Mark A Forhan
Acting Senior Specialist, Variety Registration Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) Seed Section
59 Camelot Drive, Floor 2, Room 348 E
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0Y9
Telephone :  613-773-7148
Fax :  613-773-7144
E-mail :  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

and possibly cc'd to Scheffel and others

Michael Scheffel
National Manager
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Seed Section
59 Camelot, Floor 2, Room 250 E
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0Y9
Telephone :  613-773-7142
Fax :  613-773-7144
E-mail :  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .ca

Letters to the agriculture minister should go to:

The Honourable Gerry Ritz
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
1341 Baseline Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C5
Fax: 613-773-1081


Ag minister nixes GM alfalfa for now

By BARRY WILSON, Western Producer

March 17, 2011

As MPs began debating a proposal for a moratorium on genetically modified alfalfa, agriculture minister Gerry Ritz said there is no prospect GM alfalfa will be approved.

“We do have a case-by-case situation that we always put in place in Canada,” Ritz said March 10 after a speech to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

“We look at a number of factors including net benefit and so forth but having said that, there has been no demand for it so we have no intention of moving forward.”

At the House of Commons agriculture committee that day, debate started on a motion moved by Liberal Wayne Easter and supported by New Democrat and Bloc Québécois MPs recommending to government that no GM alfalfa variety be approved for market until studies prove it would not harm the alfalfa industry or export markets.

Easter said he was not prejudging the product, simply responding to fears expressed by organic growers during committee hearings on biotechnology. At present, there is no Canadian proposal to have GMalfalfa approved.

“This is a moratorium, not a ban,” said Easter. “It is to let government ensure that there are no negative implications.”

Ritz said that while a GM alfalfa will not be approved any time soon, he opposes the proposal for a politically motivated moratorium.

“I’m not going to go as far as Mr. Easter and say there’s a moratorium. That stifles investment and science,” he said.


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