GM fanatics hurting ag

All credible scientific bodies agree that GM plant breeding is just as safe ....

EXPECT to see a tall dark shadow cast over plant breeding science and commonsense in Perth at Saturday's march against Monsanto and genetically modified (GM) foods rally.

The rally started on the steps of Parliament House in the early afternoon and involved a leisurely stroll through the city centre to Russell Square where various speakers addressed the audience.

The Perth rally coincided with other like-minded protests around the globe - in an estimated 52 countries and 400 cities - all designed to try and gain lots of media coverage to turn the world against big bad Monsanto and those nasty GM crops.

The first global march against Monsanto was held in May this year and drew an estimated two million angry protesters.

That figure included an estimated 1000 people in Perth - even though 2032 replied to an invite on the event’s Facebook page saying they would be going, from the 20,998 invited.

For the latest march against Monsanto, 10,116 Facebook invites were issued with 920 Facebookers saying they’d be going and 333 giving it a maybe.

Today’s event is also timed to coincide with World Food Day on October 16 which will help to inject even greater levels of symbolism and cynicism into efforts to try and scare the wits out of food consumers everywhere.

“The march is happening again in October to tie in with the fact that Monsanto is set to receive the World Food Prize known as the “Nobel Prize in Agriculture” this month,” the media promotion says.

Just hold that thought and reflect on it for a minute or two; Monsanto is set to receive the World Food Prize known as the “Nobel Prize in Agriculture” this month.

Maybe reflect for a minute or 10 and look it up on Google.

Intrigued by all the commotion and emotion, I phoned an old mate who happens to be an experienced grain farmer with an agricultural science degree and a bit of knowledge on this topic.

I asked what he thought was really going on at this global march against Monsanto and how many other scientists, farm industry leaders or down and dirty grain farmers supported what the protest was trying to promote.

His answer was: "none that are credible, factual or objective".

But what will the rally achieve, I asked?

“It will damage agriculture by scaring naive people into thinking GM crops or foods made from GM crops aren’t safe, even though food safety regulators all over the world including here in Australia have declared them to be safe,” my award-winning scientist friend said.

“All credible scientific bodies agree that GM plant breeding is just as safe as traditional plant breeding, if not safer.

“Let’s just hope the media doesn’t swallow all of the propaganda and gets it right.”

I asked my learned friend what he saw when he looked out across a rally like this one with so much feverous talk about grain crops and food production.

I asked what exactly crossed his mind when he observed the colourful mob of placard wielding protestors being spurred on by angry leaders, standing to attention at microphones and mega-phones making so much noise?

“What do I see? Just a game being played,” he said.

“But I’m not sure what their end game is here.

“I see people who are not educated and getting very emotional and promoting an organic niche but ignoring science and the environmental and health potential of GMs.

“Maybe they only take their information off the bloody internet – no cross checking of facts.

“Maybe they should be talking to plant breeding professors and other scientists and listening to the facts.

“Who they shouldn’t be listening to are celebrity chefs and others with vested interests in marketing organics.”

I also asked why the protesters objected so strongly to Monsanto making GM seeds and made it seem like the US based company was about to take over the global food chain and send the planet broke, taking farmers down with them.

But he pointed out they’re not the only multinational company producing and selling GM seed, with Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont/Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences also in the mix and dominating the US corn and soybean market.

“Why do they begrudge companies making a commercial profit?” he said.

“It’s almost like a religious belief.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t causing so much damage to farmers, science and forcing up regulatory costs making it harder to apply GM to other niche crops.”

Time maybe for the fanatics to wake up and smell the (engineered) coffee beans.

Page:
1
FarmOnline
Date: Newest first | Oldest first

READER COMMENTS

Michael B
15/10/2013 5:06:17 AM

Just drive around NSW and see the stands of GM-canola weed that does not respond to weedkiller growing along the sides of the road. Then you understand why GM crops pose an inherent danger to the environment. Who is going to pay the costs incurred by councils to manually control this weed? Monsanto?
themule
15/10/2013 6:18:11 AM

Mr Bettles when you actually get out of your office and visit people in the rural areas do some more research. Talk to the GM companies like Monsanto and ask them why they are now getting into other areas of ag and looking at better ways to farm rather than the GM technologies because it just doesn't add up and is too expensive trying to prove it up when it actually doesn't benefit anyone. We now have massive resistance issues which the likes of Monsanto have created and guess who is going to sell you the next silver bullet to fix it? These guys don't care for the environment they just want $.
Creeker
15/10/2013 6:46:47 AM

For those who would support GM I suggest they Google The Showa Denko Tryptophan Disaster Once again, why put your future in the hands of a large America Multi National Corporation? It has yet to be demonstrated that it enhances crops in any way. Instead of Monsanto propaganda do some research of the history of GM in countries like Argentina, India and most of Europe.These decisions are too important to be left to politicians to decide.
alanan
15/10/2013 7:18:27 AM

The argument against G.M. is twofold. Not only do G.M. foods contain untested proteins, the fact is that they all contain known toxins, either B.T. caterpillar killer, which has been shown be present in the embryos of pregnant women .in the U.S,, and Roundup, which has been linked to diseases such as non Hodgkin's lymphoma. No-one yet knows what long term ingestions of these products will do to our health. Of course it must be all right, the scientists have said so. They also said DDT, and many others were safe.
Deregul8
15/10/2013 1:31:10 PM

All the watermelons have done is set in concrete Monsanto's absolute market dominance. There is no competition because they can't afford to jump through the regulatory hurdles to get approval for a new GM trait. Well done watermelons. You will probably find Monsanto has been sending more backhanders to the anti side of this argument than the pro side. And every quarter record profits are eclipsed by even more profits the following quarter.
Georgie Hope
15/10/2013 3:05:37 PM

There have never been any studies with GMO crops in humans. Scientists all around the world are only saying the proteins are safe based on how the proteins act in a test tube. So they are only guessing they are safe for humans. That is not science. Doctors and dietitians in America are prescribing organic diets and getting rid of various diseases within 4-6 weeks. Until we have double blind clinical controlled studies in humans over at least 10-20 years then there is no evidence what so ever that GMOs are safe.
The Lorax
15/10/2013 4:25:51 PM

I read the other day that 80% of people do not want GMO's in Australia. 10% do and 10% just don't know... There is definitely a reason for this! What on earth is the matter with our beautiful fruit and veges in Australia anyway? Why change the great food nature has provided us with? Buy local & organic!
Builder
15/10/2013 4:38:46 PM

Get informed, Colin. Biodiversity is the saviour of our future on this planet. Genetic modification and seed patents are have stultified diversity, increased weed tolerance to herbicides, created chemical factories in our stomachs, and more nations on Earth have banned them, than currently allow them. Try explaining why our non-GE canola is demanding such a high premium over GMO rapeseed. Hype? You really think it's all hype? Try educating yourself before pretending to know what your subject matter really is.
Vinay
15/10/2013 8:09:32 PM

"On a lighter note, check out this HILARIOUS Anti-GMO MockuMusic Video called "Don't Eat It" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR -Ke6Y5ziY Your going to love it :-) Enjoy and Share!"
Looking after home
17/10/2013 5:40:44 AM

What ever happened to our clean, green growing credentials - sold off. Land Line showed USA farmers who used GM and have now "contaminated" the land because it did not deliver the yields after year 1. Monsanto has bought 3 real food seed companies here recently - and spends big on PR and "sowing the seed". This company was responsible for agent orange. Money and power are not always right.
< previous |  1 | 2 | 3 | 4  |  next >
Canberra CommentFairfax Agricultural Media Canberra correspondent Colin Bettles tackles the big national rural and agricultural issues which will impact regional and rural Australians.

COMMENTS

light grey arrow
I'm one of the people who want marijuana to be legalized, some city have been approved it but
light grey arrow
#blueysmegacarshowandcruise2019 10 years on Daniels Ute will be apart of another massive cause.
light grey arrow
Australia's live animal trade is nothing but a blood stained industry that suits those who