---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 16:19:59 -0800
From: FarmFolk/CityFolk <email@example.com>
Subject: re: soils listserve
Thought you might be interested in some information which circulated here
in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago
I just though jest-westers might be interested in some of the research I'm
doing on GE canola.
Canola seedmeal is derived from crushed canola and is a byproduct of the
canola oil industry. It is often used as a fertilizer source by organic
growers who are looking or alternatives to chemical fertilizers.
Unfortunately, when canola is processed, the conventional and GE varieties
are not separated.
I've just gotten off the phone with a local supplier of canola seedmeal.
He was speaking to his suppliers in Saskatchewan who now estimates that a
whopping 30% of the canola being processed for oil is genetically
engineered. In 1996, this figure was 5% and in 1997, it had climbed to
20%. His projection is that by the year 2000, 50% of all the canola grown
in Canada will be genetically engineered. These varieties have
glyphosate-resistant genese placed in them and farmers are getting higher
yields and higher returns from these varieties.
This is causing a great dilema for organic growers. Using canola seedmeal
helps recycle a waste into an input. Now, however, using this byproduct
can be seen as supporting the biotech industry, or at least turning a blind
Unfortunately, there are few alternatives. Organic canola meal is in high
demand among livestock farmers which drives the price way up. Flax
seedmeal can be used but it doesn't have the same fertilizer qualities and
is much "oilier" and difficult to handle.
Any ideas or comments would be appreciated.
West Coast Seeds
Our natural fertilizer supplier, David Murphy from Welcome Harvest Farm,
has been able to find a source of organic canola seedmeal. A group of
Canadian organic growers presently grows this canola which is then exported
to the US for processing. The oil is eventually shipped to Europe where it
commands a very high price.
These growers have agreed to set aside some of the seedmeal for David to
use. They're also giving him a break on the price so it is prohibitive to
use as a fertilizer.
Chalk one up for the organic side!
West Coast Seeds Ltd.
8475 Ontario St., Unit 206
Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V5X 3E8
#208 - 2211 W. 4th Ave.
Vancouver, BC, V6K 4S2
ph. (604) 730-0450 fax (604) 730-0451
toll free in BC: 1-888-730-0452
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