GM alfalfa protested at seed meeting

A group opposed to genetic modification of seeds says it will protest outside the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) annual meeting in Quebec City today.

The CSTA says it has offered to meet with the protesters, but they have declined.

The protest is organized by Vigilance OGM, a Quebec-based group which last week announced the protest against the introduction of Roundup Ready genetically modified alfalfa, a Monsanto product which is legal for production in Canada but has not been commercially released.

“Last week, when we learned of the planned protest, we invited Vigilance OGM to meet with our executive committee,” CSTA president Stephen Denys said in a release. “We would like to hear their concerns, and take some time to explain CSTA’s work in the area of coexistence. This morning we received a letter from Vigilance OGM declining our invitation.”

Denys said CSTA does not support one production method over another, but strives to represent the common interests of all its members. “Our objective is to develop practices and guidelines that can help to ensure that our members and the farmers they serve can employ the production system that best suits their operations — whether the system is organic, conventional or makes use of biotechnology,” said Denys. “It’s all about choice for everyone.”

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