Peace and Environment Resource Centre

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Ecology Ottawa has an excellent calendar of local eco-events.
Green Ottawa has an events list as well as a directory of green groups, jobs, and more.

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Please note: PEN archives and other online PERC projects prior to 2010 are provided as a courtesy but are not updated. We regret that we cannot correct outdated links or information from these past editions and projects.

In this issue..

GM Alfalfa: Risk to Environment and Health
Genetically modified (GM) Alfalfa has been approved for sale in Canada. This is a huge environmental concern.
Alfalfa is used as a high protein feed for animals such as dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep. It is also used to build up nutrients in the soil. It is one of the most important and widely grown forage crops in Canada, and was produced on over 25 million acres across the country in 2011. That's 30% of Canada's cropland! 
Many parts of the Alfalfa plant are used for environmental and economic benefits, such as the leaves and stems as hay, the roots in building healthy soil, and the pollen and nectar for honey bees. Alfalfa is overall a very important plant that is deeply integrated in Ontario's food and farming culture.
The Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) and its corporate members, including Monsanto, Pioneer, and Forage Genetics International (FGI), are actively trying to get support for the release of GM Alfalfa. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has already granted registration to several varieties of GM Roundup Ready Alfalfa. 
Thus far Canada grows 6.8% of the world's GM crops, such as corn, canola, soy and white sugar beets. There are two main traits in GM crops that affect the Ontario market. These traits are herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. Herbicide tolerant crops are engineered to withstand sprayings from certain broad-spectrum herbicides. (Therefore the crop will survive a herbicide spray that was intended to kill all weeds.) Insect resistant crops are engineered with genes from the soil bacterium and are toxic to certain classes of insects. 
Read more...

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Viewpoints expressed should not be taken to represent the opinions of the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, the Peace and Environment News, or our supporters. The PEN does not recommend, approve or endorse any of the advertisers, products or services printed in the PEN or referred to on the PERC website. Health-related information printed in the PEN or online is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed health care provider. The PERC and PEN are not responsible for the content on any external website links.