Anti-GM lobbyists furious

28 Jan, 2010 01:00 AM
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Julie Newman was bemused and angry at being denied access to Mr Redman's announcement.
Julie Newman was bemused and angry at being denied access to Mr Redman's announcement.

NETWORK of Concerned Farmers president Julie Newman had two reasons to be furious at CBH's Metro Grains Centre this week.

Not only was she angry at the move to allow GM crops to be grown in WA, she was also denied access to the press conference at which Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman announced the decision.

"I can't believe it, I have been denied access to the press function," she said.

"Apparently the conference was a private event open only to those who were invited, who coincidentally were all pro-GM supporters."

Ms Newman was kept in check by a policeman and security officer, who she said told her they had to "protect the dignity of the Premier and Minister".

"The Premier and Minister have been deceptive by claiming segregation of GM canola is possible," she said.

"The trial assessment was done by the Agriculture and Food Department, which has a vested interest in GM crops, as does CBH, which had previously denied any interest in long-term segregation of this product."

Ms Newman was not the only person prevented from attending the conference; so too was GM-Free Consumers Network spokesperson Janet Grogan, who turned up with anti-GM protest signs.

"We are appalled that Mr Redman has ignored the need to introduce more certainty, transparency and public participation into the decison-making process relating to the granting of exemptions to allow the cultivation of GM crops," Ms Grogan said.

"This decision will be detrimental to the state and ignores the wishes of the majority of people and the 24 GM-free shires, five of which are in the minister's electorate, who would like to see WA remain GM-free."

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READER COMMENTS

Ryoko Shimizu
28/01/2010 3:40:01 PM, on Farm Weekly

The Report on the Review of the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act 2003 was tabled in State Parliament on 26 November 2009. There were more than 400 submissions to the review and more than 90 % of them called for the retantion or strengthening of GM moratorium. The report recommended that "consideration should be given to ways of introducing more certainty, transparency, and public particpation into the decision-making process relating to the granting of exemptions to allow the cultivation of GM crops". In spite of this report, Minister Redman's decision was made before the Parliament session. There is no transparency nor public particiaption in the current situation. As a Japanese consumer, I am greatly disappointed the way WA government works.
Fran Murrell
29/01/2010 9:51:59 AM, on Farm Weekly

I have just listened to the podcast of Bush Telegraph where Terry Redman states two reasons for allowing GM canola to be grown. The first is that WA achieved co-existence between GM and non-GM canola. At the GM co-existence conference in Melbourne last year segregation was called a "poison pill". The European Commission Joint Research Centre has put out a report saying that GM crops could disrupt international trade. The report lists instances where this has already happened. Redman also said farmers had the choice of GM for weed control. In the US superweeds have developed through the use of GM crops. They are breaking farm machinery and resulting in some crops being picked by hand. GM crops are a total sham. The evidence is clear. What can be done if governments recklessly put farmers and consumers at risk?
Hebe
29/01/2010 11:48:20 AM, on Farm Weekly

You have to laugh at the straws that this government are clinging to in order to find a pathway for GM crops into WA. The trials were a shambles resulting in 11 errors, and this was when they were at their vigilant best! And to say that it is 'science based' may sound plausible until you ask to see what science they are basing it on and discover that is is data provided by the biotech companies that make the seeds. Mr Redman will be infamously remembered at the minister who ruined agriculture in WA.
Chris
4/03/2010 1:48:20 PM, on Farm Weekly

Julie could destroy Redman in any sort of open debate about GM, so this is what he resorts to. His credibility is shot and unfortunately so is the Nationals', but they probably have gotten a hefty donation of late! As a farmer it's disgusting they have brought this on us, our food sovereignty is under attack. We must continue to fight this every step of its way!

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