CSTA disowns its long-awaited GM alfalfa co-existence plan
(September 12, 2013, St. Marys, ON). After nearly a year of deliberation and controversy, the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA), a lobby group representing large seed companies such as Monsanto, Bayer, Dupont Pioneer and Forage Genetics International, finally announced its Coexistence plan for GM alfalfa hay in Eastern Canada” earlier this week.
Astonishingly, the organization emphasizes that it “does not “own” the plan,” which was “developed by a number of value chain participants” who are not identified anywhere in the document. The entire first page of the plan is devoted to a disclaimer where the CSTA attempts to shed all liability for losses due to relying on the “best practices” detailed in the document.
“Obviously, the CSTA is unwilling to accept responsibility for their co-existence plan – and neither is anyone else,” said Phil Woodhouse, President of the Grey County Local of the National Farmers Union. “The CSTA’s disavowal of any liability indicates they have zero confidence in the plan themselves, and are seriously concerned that when – not if – it fails, they could be sued.”
The NFU is on record as opposing the commercial release of GM alfalfa in Canada.
“We know it is inevitable that it would contaminate non-GM alfalfa and cause losses to farmers who rely on non-GM markets for hay, livestock, dairy and other crops where alfalfa is part of the crop rotation,” explained Ann Slater, NFU member from St. Marys, ON. “In July, we co-published The Canadian Seed Trade Association’s So-called “Coexistence Plan” is a Gateway to GM Alfalfa Contamination: Commentary and Technical Paper with the CBAN, which provides detailed evidence that “co-existence” is not possible.”
“After the Canada-wide protests against GM alfalfa in April, Forage Genetics International said it would not start selling GM alfalfa seed until a coexistence plan was in place,” said Woodhouse. “It is unacceptable for them to use this plan – which the seed industry has patently disclaimed – to justify the sale of GM alfalfa seed, which once planted cannot be recalled.” Forage Genetics International registered a variety of Roundup Ready Alfalfa in April, 2013.
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For more information:
CSTA’s Disclaimer from 2013 Coexistence Plan for Alfalfa Hay in Eastern Canada: Planning for Choice:
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This document is provided “as is” without any representation, warranty, covenant, condition or assurance of any kind whatsoever, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. Canadian Seed Trade Association (“CSTA”) expressly disclaims all representations, warranties, covenants, conditions and/or assurances of any kind (whether express, implied, statutory or otherwise) whatsoever with respect to the information contained in this document, including without limitation any relating to: the quality, accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability of any claims, statements or information contained in this document; that successful results or outcomes will result from properly following any instructions, directions or information contained in this document; merchantability; merchantable quality; fitness for a particular purpose; safety (environmental or otherwise); or non-infringement of third party rights.
CSTA assumes no liability to any person or entity for any loss or damage (whether direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive or otherwise) caused by, relating to or arising from, in whole or in part, any errors, omissions or statements of any kind whatsoever contained in this document, and irrespective of the theory of liability, whether based on contract, tort, breach of warranty, strict liability or any other legal or equitable grounds, even if CSTA has been advised of the possibility of such loss or damage. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, in no event will CSTA be liable for any such loss or damage of the following nature: any lost profits, lost revenues, lost goodwill, business interruption or loss, property losses, lost savings, loss of use, cost of capital, cost of substitute products, materials or operations, or loss of time.
Further, CSTA assumes no liability to any person or entity arising from the application or use of the products, materials or information described herein. CSTA does not authorize any representative or other person or entity to assume for it any obligation or liability.
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What is the NFU?
The National Farmers Union is a direct-membership voluntary organization made up of Canadian farm families who share common goals. It is the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament.
NFU members believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.