Protesting GM alfalfa in Nelson

Local farmers and organic food lovers gathered in front of the Kootenay Co-op Tuesday afternoon to protest genetically modified alfalfa.

A rally outside the Kootenay Co-op today aimed to bring awareness to the issue of genetically modified alfalfa.

A rally outside the Kootenay Co-op today aimed to bring awareness to the issue of genetically modified alfalfa.

Local farmers and organic food lovers gathered in front of the Kootenay Co-op grocery store Tuesday afternoon to protest genetically modified alfalfa. Petitions were circulated and information pamphlets handed out.

The event was part of a national day of action to stop Forage Genetics International for releasing Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa, which could be on shelves as early as this spring.

Alfalfa is a high protein feed for livestock and is a particularly valuable crop to organic farmers who use it to to build nutrients and organic matter in the soil. A genetically modified strain could contaminate non-GM and organic alfalfa, opponents say.