Alexandra Morton echoes distress call
Following revelations at the Cohen Inquiry that government suppressed information on critical viral infections in Fraser sockeye, the Get Out Migration marched on with ‘Mayday for Wild Salmon.’ In April, Alexandra Morton and the Wild Salmon People travelled to communities asking people to lead government by flying the flag for wild salmon with events in various communities and a May Day 24-hour vigil in Victoria on May 1 leading into Election Day on May 2.
‘Mayday for Wild Salmon’ will feature a Mother’s Day blessing on May 8 and the Global Day of Action on May 17 as well as visits to the Cohen Inquiry, legal interventions, flotilla protests, swims around salmon farms and celebrations to honour coastal communities on the front line and the guardians of the spawning grounds.
“I’m calling the Wild Salmon People,” said Alexandra Morton. “Government judgment on fisheries is impaired. DFO is blindly following outdated policy that salmon farms are good for us, prompting senior scientists to state government is repeating the mistakes that robbed the east coast provinces of their Atlantic cod. We don’t have to let wild Pacific salmon – a BC icon – go down on our watch. The public has a right to know if the Conservative Government has allowed Norwegian-owned salmon farms to release lethal salmon viruses into B.C. waters. “Salmon Are Sacred is calling on the Wild Salmon People to join digitally and in person in protecting wild salmon.
“Until salmon farms get out of BC’s waters, every day is a mayday for wild salmon, said Anissa Reed, the creative genius behind Salmon Are Sacred. “Wild Pacific salmon are the backbone of the BC coast and the lifeblood of the Fraser River watershed. Yet the government is putting my family’s future at risk by promoting the expansion of open net cage salmon farming…” The Wild Salmon People need to stand together to help lift the sea lice burden off baby wild salmon smolts, as they run the gauntlet past dozens of disease-ridden farms. Please respond to our SOS by flying the flag for wild salmon in your community or joining us in person in Victoria on May Day (May 1).
Margo French of Takla Lake First Nation in the headwaters of the Driftwood River watershed said, “It is a critical time for wild salmon – the 2011 out-migration is the precious progeny of the 2009 run which was the lowest in recorded history and prompted the Cohen Inquiry. All our hard work as guardians of the headwaters will be in vain if sea lice and infectious diseases from salmon farms are allowed to decimate wild salmon.”
For more info about ‘Mayday for Wild Salmon,” see www.salmonaresacred.org A new film, Rise of the Salmon People premiers in May. Watch the trailer.
Farmers and seed distributors sue Monsanto
In March, 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations in Canada and the US, including Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds Ltd. of Parkside Saskatchewan, filed a lawsuit against Monsanto to challenge the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified (GM) seed. The plaintiffs were forced to sue pre-emptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s GM seed.
The case, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, was filed in federal district court in Manhattan. Plaintiffs in the suit represent a broad array of family farmers, small businesses and organizations from within the organic agriculture community in Canada and the US who are increasingly threatened by GM seed contamination despite their best efforts to avoid it. The plaintiff organizations have more than 270,000 members, including thousands of certified organic family farmers.
The risk of contamination is high and once GM seeds are released into the environment, they cannot be recalled or controlled. Canadian farmers are still suffering the consequences of market loss after the 2009 GM contamination of flax and organic canola was virtually erased as a crop for farmers in Canada due to GM contamination.
The suit is being filed at a critical crossroads in agricultural history as Monsanto’s GM Roundup Ready herbicide tolerant alfalfa has recently been approved for planting in the US, though it has yet to be commercially introduced in Canada.
“Patents on living organisms should never have been permitted in the first place,” says Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. “Patents on gene sequences are facilitating extreme corporate control over seed.”