Aug 122007

"GM canola offers some solutions to the current problems conventional canola faces in Australia and is likely to make an important contribution to farming systems"
Secret report backs GM crops |

Okay then……let’s see the list of important contributions to farming systems. Then let’s see the definitive scientific evidence which clearly states that human consumption of genetically modified food crops is not harmful. It’s not too much to ask, surely?

I am not and never have been in favour of genetically modified food crops being granted open slather for primary production in this country. Why? Because the risks to human health are not clearly defined nor mitigated; the crops themselves are generally sterile and cannot be reproduced in nature creating an inherent cost factor for the farmer in planting successive crops, which effectively negates any so-called cost savings in pesticide use; pollen spread from GM crops has the potential to make sterile non-GM crops; GM cropping has enormous potential to pollute and kill off the organic food industry; and the principal reason I object to GM crops……patent rights. The seed stock, it’s genetic makeup and the right to reproduce it belongs not to a primary producer, or seed stock grower but to global corporate conglomerates like Monsanto and Bayer. Producers of herbicides and pesticides used in primary production. They own the patents to these laboratory engineered crops because they also control the patents to the herbicides and pesticides that are deadly to weeds and insect pests which plague non-GM crops and will also kill non-GM crops.

It’s wonderfully efficient. Plant a GM crop and live happily in the knowledge that you can spray it copiously with Roundup without killing it, but all other forms of plant life in that field wither & die. Hey, what a coup! Try digging for earthworms in a field which has been sprayed with Roundup. You’ll never find any. Of course, once you plant a GM crop, you’ll have to keep on planting it because your neighbours will also be planting it due to the fact that you did. You can’t go back once you make that turn in the road because your non-GM crops won’t be Non-GM for very long. Bees don’t know GM from non-GM. Neither does the wind. Then there’s the public acceptance of your GM crop. Do you seriously think the public will accept margarine once they read on the pack that the canola oil in it comes from a genetically modified grain?

A report was issued in 2003 entitled "A CRITIQUE OF THE CLAIMED ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF GM FOOD CROPS IN AUSTRALIA" produced by Stephen Rix and Richard Denniss. Stephen Rix is an independent economist and public policy consultant, while Richard Denniss is a senior research fellow at The Australia Institute. The report leads off with

The claim that the use of genetically modified (GM) crops will result in reduced farm costs, reduced prices for consumers and help reduce starvation and poverty in developing countries has been made repeatedly. Both policy makers and farmers require much more accurate information about the likely costs and benefits of using GM crops if they are to make good decisions, either for individual farms or for society as a whole.

Existing reports into the economics of GM crops have relied on unsubstantiated data on benefits, ignored a wide range of likely costs, and made assumptions about the likely extent of consumer acceptance of GM crops that are not borne out by the available data.

and nothing has changed in the past four years since this reports publication. Yet Peter McGauran is pushing this same agenda with the same unsubstantiated claims in a bid to have Genetically Modified food crops become a primary production staple in Australia. One simply has to ask why? What’s in it for him and his government? How much has Monsanto contributed to this years election campaign? Above all else, why is this push on in secret? Many questions and still no answers. I want answers and definitive answers at that before I’ll change my mind.