An Organic Farmer on GMO Alfalfa

Linda Laepple, an organic farmer from near Kitchener, spoke at the Guelph GMO Alfalfa demonstration on Tuesday April 9th.  See www.laeppleorganic.ca for more information on the farm and for a great source for local organic food.   The Laepple’s potatoes are to LIVE for!  Linda is a farming activist and involved in a number of different issues. She has also just been elected as leader of the NFU chapter in our area.   Google her name and you will find a long list of groups this farmer works with.  I marvel at how such a busy farmer can find the time to do as much as she does to fight for food freedom for all of us!  Thank you Linda!

I am posting her speech with permission:

Linda Laepple, Organic Farmer

First I would like to thank everyone who cared to come out today, to share the concerns around a real bad business plan, a business plan that could have a very negative effect on our farms and on your guts.

I would also like to thank all the MP’s across Canada who care to listen today to their constituencies and who will use their power to stop this invasion of our bodies with the DNA of a soil bacteria planted in our food chain. No matter what color your party may be, all of you have to eat and expect us farmers to provide you with safe food.

For us alfalfa growers and farmers depending on alfalfa, conventional and organic, there is no benefit at the bottom line for Roundup Ready alfalfa. We don’t want and we don’t need it and you don’t want to eat it.

Alfalfa is an Arabic word. Translated it means “The Father of all Foods” and has been cultivated for over 3000 years.

The introduction of Monsanto’s GM herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa would have serious negative impacts on many different types of farmers and farming systems, both conventional and organic. The release of Roundup Ready alfalfa will make it more difficult for farmers to control volunteer alfalfa and will lead to more Roundup resistant weeds.

 

  • If RR alfalfa is released, farmers will pay more for seed and herbicides while chemical, biotechnology and seed corporations gain more control over our farms and our food. At this time we pay about 2 to 3$ a lb for alfalfa seed. In the US farmers pay 3 times as much for alfalfa seed just because it’s DNA has been fiddled around. Fact is, they can’t kill it to plant a different crop the following year and are forced to use a real good poison.

 

  • Contamination from GM alfalfa would shut down our export markets for Canadian alfalfa products the same way the US export market for alfalfa seed to New Zealand and many other countries has been shut down thanks to contamination detected. Canadian farmers do export alfalfa seed and alfalfa products to places like Europe, which do not and will not accept genetically modified alfalfa.

 

  • Contamination from GM alfalfa also threatens the future of organic food and farming in Canada. Accepting RR alfalfa would be a stab in the back of my customers who trust me to provide them with what they are asking for, a clean – wholesome, natural product.

 

Again, a big heartfelt thank you from us farmers who grow your food, to all MPs, for keeping our alfalfa fields clean by stopping this invasion. An invasion even billion dollar star fighter warplanes can do nothing about, but your stroke of pen can.

 

Thank you,

Linda Laepple

Here are some pictures of Linda’s farm I took last year at their annual Potato Fest.  If you live in our area, watch for this festival held every August.

 

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