Alex Atamanenko addresses Genetically Modified Alfalfa at the House of Commons
New Democratic Party member of parliament (MP) Alex Atamanenko made the following speech in the House of Commons, Friday April 19th.
Mr. Speaker, last week a National Day of Action was held across Canada to stop Forage Genetics International from releasing Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa. I would like to thank the National Farmers Union, CBAN and many others for undertaking this important initiative. A special thanks to Colleen Ross of the NFU for organizing the rally in Nelson, B.C.
Alfalfa is a high protein animal feed and is also used by organic farmers to build nutrients and organic matter in the soil. Alfalfa pellets are also exported to other countries.
It is well-known among farmers and agronomists that alfalfa is an insect-pollinated perennial plant. GM alfalfa will contaminate non-GM and organic alfalfa. This poses a serious threat to farmers if markets are closed to them because of consumer rejection.
Forage Genetics International was planning on releasing GM alfalfa in Ontario. Thanks to a strong and unified voice of protest, it has backed off for now.
I strongly urge the minister to support Canadian farmers and prohibit the introduction of GM alfalfa. The livelihood of farmers depends on it.
— submitted by the office of Alex Atamanenko