15
Jun
2005

Enough of the GM bulldust

The Network of Concerned Farmers (NCF) today released a comprehensive presentation titled "Beyond the Bulldust of Genetically Modified Crops – the Case for Strict Liability" in both DVD and video format. The presentation details the specific GM benefit, alternatives, risks and the risk management needed to manage this controversial crop.

"We have given specific referenced detail why agronomically and economically GM canola will fail to benefit Australian farmers," said Mrs Newman, the author of the presentation and national spokesperson for the NCF. "We have also explained how and why GM crops are being rammed down the throats of farmers and reluctant consumers."

The Network of Concerned Farmers (NCF), an alliance of conventional and organic farmers throughout Australia are pushing for fair risk management as they wish to maintain the right to market an uncontaminated consumer preferred non-GM product. These farmers are insisting on a strict liability regime to ensure farmers are compensated by the GM companies for any economic loss associated with GM crops.

Despite the West Australian moratorium banning the commercial release of genetically modified crops, there has recently been Federal GM wheat trials planted in Corrigin, WA. Farmers themselves are the main investors in this technology through a company called Council of Grain Growers Organisation (COGGO) who have funded the development of a GM salt tolerant wheat.

"Our wheat customers do not want GM wheat or any trace of it and yet it is possible that pollen could remain viable for up to half an hour on the wind. These trails need wind buffers in order to prevent pollen travelling during flowering time."

"If the GM companies were liable for economic loss, they would be far more careful."

"Greed, ignorance and arrogance is no excuse to deny fair risk management.

There are good reasons why consumers are rejecting GM products but if farmers do not have a choice, consumers will not either," explained Mrs Newman.

The launch was held at Parliament House in Perth and farmers have commenced distributing the presentation to key politicians and others involved in the GM debate with an aim to influence both State and Federal legislation to adopt a strict liability regime.

Contact:

Julie Newman - West Australia 08 98711562 or 08 98711644
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