On July 25, 2013, certified organic dairy farmer Diane Dowling and mixed farmer and grass-fed beef producer, Dave Lewington, both active NFU members, formally asked the Ontario government to carry out an environmental assessment of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa before the seed is sold in the province. They launched an application under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, the first ever request relating to the issue of GM crops.
Under the Environmental Bill of Rights, Ontario residents can request an environmental assessment if they believe a major new commercial activity could negatively affect the environment and economy of Ontario. The application points out that GM contamination would be unavoidable. It also details the environmental and economic costs of herbicide resistant weeds and increased herbicide use that would result from GM Roundup Ready alfalfa. The submission was prepared by a large community of individuals and groups, including the NFU, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) and Saskatchewan-based Organic Agriculture Protection Fund (OAPF), who share concerns about the risks that GM alfalfa poses.
Read the Summary of Evidence (PDF) submitted.