HIGH-profile Margaret River chefs and winemakers are warning of a consumer backlash if the ban on genetically modified (GM) crops is lifted.
The chefs, including Leeuwin Estate’s Dany Angove and Vasse Felix’s Aaron Carr have spoken out, saying GM food goes against a growing demand for organic and biodynamic food.
Mr Angove, Mr Carr, Must resturant’s Russell Blaikie and 10 other Western Australian chefs recently signed the Greenpeace chefs’ charter for GM-Free Australia.
Vanya Cullen, of Margaret River’s biodynamic Cullen Wines, helped launch the Greenpeace guide to GM free alcohol this month.
Mr Angove said a hasty decision to allow GM crops into the shire could have long-term ramifications.
“We don’t know enough about this, and as for GM crops solving world food shortages, it certainly hasn’t proved to be the case in India.
“A lot of people come down here to live in a sustainable way, and they are passionate about it.
“Allowing GM crops in could seriously damage the Margaret River brand; we can promote organic food but I can’t see people lining up to buy GM food,” he said.
Sally Wylie from the Consumers for GM Free Food Organisation said the introduction of GM crops could threaten the wine industry.
“Some vineyards are eliminating canola oils from their processing because there could be a question mark over their product in EU markets,”Ms Wylier said
The councillors will vote on the GM issue when they meet next week, on Thursday 13.
Two petitions were delivered at the last meeting, the first signed by almost 1500 residents and the second, by seven local doctors – both groups oppose allowing GM crops into the region.