Alberta Municipalities Resolve to Block GM Alfalfa

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The Alberta Association Of Municipal Districts & Counties (AAMDC) has passed a resolution designed to prevent genetically modified alfalfa from being introduced to the province.

The resolution will be sent to the province for consideration.
 It asks that Alberta Agriculture and the federal government collaborate with stakeholders to prevent the introduction of genetically modified alfalfa until such a time that there is a demand for the product from Alberta’s export markets.

Roundup Ready alfalfa seed — created and marketed by Forage Genetics International (FGI) — is now available commercially in the United States. It’s also approved for sale in Canada as well, but FGI has made the decision to hold off on commercial sales of the herbicide-tolerant genetically modified alfalfa, despite the fact that it was granted full food, feed and environmental approval by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2005.

Heather Kerschbaumer, president of Forage Seed Canada, has applauded the AAMDC’s resolution. She fears that those export markets will be lost if GM alfalfa is grown in Western Canada. In 2015, she lost a sale of clover seed to Europe due to the presence of some GM canola seeds in the shipment, despite the fact it was certified organic.

“Until the rest of the world accepts GMO crops, why would we want to totally abandon our export markets?” she says. “We’re not opposed to the technology, we just don’t want to be contaminated. But how do you build a wall to ensure contamination doesn’t happen?”