Been way to long! Busy working on my last artists’ contracts and looking forward to getting back to writing my book. Alas my book waits a while longer as I attend to some additional priorities. As my husband would say there are the fun projects and there are the ‘other’ projects. The former includes helping organize a party to celebrate my remarkable father’s upcoming 80th birthday. One of the ‘other’ projects involved attending a political rally outside our MP’s office regarding the impending release of GM alfalfa into Canadian farmers’ fields. The rally was my first in 51 years but I felt a moral obligation to stand in support of keeping GM alfalfa out of our food supply.
GM aka genetically modified foods are bad news. They are grown from seeds that have been genetically engineered to withstand the onslaught of very strong pesticides. GM foods are not recognized as food by our bodies and are, not surprisingly, associated with a wide variety of illnesses ranging from cancer to autoimmune conditions.
A high percentage, possibly as high as 90%, of soy, canola and corn crops grown in Canada, are grown from GM seeds. So if you are buying these foods or processed foods that contain them and what you are buying is not certified organic, there is a high probability that you are getting the genetically modified version.
So, if we are already inundated with GM crops in this country, what’s the big deal about alfalfa? Unfortunately alfalfa is a really big deal because it is a widely used crop and one that is pollinated by bees. Since bees know no boundaries, once the GM alfalfa is planted, the poor bees will transport it across the country from farm to farm, conventional and organic alike. The arrival of GM organisms into the organic farms will mean that they are no longer organic. End of story, end of organic farming, and some would aruge, the end of our safe food supply.
When asked why we need GM alfalfa, our learned MP responded that it is “just another choice for farmers and is not political”. “We’ll leave it to the scientists” he offered.
Sorry, but I have to go with the man in the crowd who asked “Isn’t choice political?” because the introduction of GM alfalfa into Canada will effectively end the right of Canadians to choose to grow and to eat local organic food. If that is not political, what is?
Other questions raised before our honourable MP included what will happen to the millions of jobs that will be lost to organic farming if GM alfalfa is introduced here. Similarly, he was asked about the negative economic impact when our exports are no longer welcome in places like Europe where GM food is prohibited and treated like a pariah. He promised to take this information to colleagues in Ottawa and make sure they know about it. I guess time will tell but its still not too late to write to your MP and your Prime Minister.