CALGARY- Dozens of people showed up outside Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s constituency office at Glenmore Landing on Tuesday, to protest genetically modified crops.
They are upset a genetically modified version of alfafa could soon be allowed into Canada. Organic farmers says say if that happens, it will only be a matter of time before they lose their organic certification and their way of life.
Farmer Paul Schneider says final government approval of GMO alfalfa would eventually spell the end for organic dairy farmers and his organic beef operation.
“I am an organic farmer and I grow alfalfa hay for my cattle,” says Schneider. “Even if I don’t seed GMO alfalfa, my crop will eventually get contaminated by bees transferring the pollen.”
Alfalfa is sensitive to herbicides, but the new genetically altered variety would withstand spraying for weeds to allow for better yields.
GMO crops are already common in Canada- canola crops are all genetically modified- but organic farmers say the research is inconclusive on the long-term health effects.
“Because the risks of GMO’S are unknown for animals and humans, we are not sure. There is a lot of research that suggests GMO’s are unhealthy,” says organic farmer Bridget Lacey.
Tuesday’s protest was part of a national day of action.