Chefs warn of GM backlash

09 Aug, 2009 02:00 AM

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.

Augusta-Margaret River MailSource: http://www.margaretrivermail....
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10/08/2009 8:38:00 AM, on Farm Weekly

Those chef's have been using GM food for over a decade now, why haven't we heard from them in the past? It seems Greenpeace has suckered another group in to obtain membership which pays their top executives. Mischevious to say the least. If those chef's choose not to use GM food, then that is their choice. If a farmer chooses to grow GM canola then that is also their choice. GM canola has a massive market in Japan and Asia which I am keen as mustard to supply in the future. GM status is of no relevance in the international canola market. Japan likes our GM products because Australia's GM Regulater is known as the most stringent and rigorous on the planet. GM canola is as safe if not safer than non-GM canola. This is what matters to the Japanese. No doubt the moritorium will be lifted in WA and rightly so. As canola becomes a crop in focus in WA, Margaret River residents will get used to the beautiful yellow flowering canola close by. GM or Non-GM it will be an amazing sight in the deep south.
10/08/2009 8:46:39 AM, on Farm Weekly

Yawn - heard it all before in the east and despite the hysterical claims the sky did not fall in. Greenpeace failed to convince the federal Govt of its concerns, then the state govt. Now they are targetting a bunch of local councillors who (unlike the federal and state govts) do not have the expertise to assess the risk of any plant. By the way - shouldn't we have heard of these 'high profile' chefs if they are so high profile?
10/08/2009 11:32:10 AM, on Farm Weekly

Question: How many people have heard and understand the terms “mutagenesis” and “plant embryo rescue”, two common (non-GM) plant breeding techniques. I have conducted a lot of public presentations in the last two years. Effectively, none of the participants had heard of the terms. When I describe the techniques, I get a mixture of responses ranging from dumbfounded to horrified. Most people when presented with different GM foods, will have different opinions about their acceptability. And having knowledge doesn’t mean we will desire or detest a particular GM food as there are many other factors (social, political, agronomic and political) that influence people’s attitudes toward GM foods, although, I believe that people have a disconnection with how their food is produced, and this certainly influences their decisions. My point is that blanket statements for or against GM foods are counter-productive. We need to put our discussions into context and integrate more of the social/ethical aspects. The Gene and NanoTechnology Information Service at the University of Melbourne exists to encourage an informed debate about emerging technologies.
10/08/2009 11:34:54 AM, on Farm Weekly

By the way, I have yet to meet a scientist involved in GM plant breeding that says this technology will solve world food shortage. It is just one of many plant breeding tools they use. And India is only growing GM cotton, so it is hardly going to make a difference to food shortages over there unless anyone has figures on how much extra cotton has been grown there since the introduction of Bt cotton and how much land this has taken up that used to grow food. If indeed this has had any direct influence on food shortages, that is not really an issue of the technology itself, rather a political, social and economic aspect of the debate. The Gene and NanoTechnology Information Service at the University of Melbourne exists to encourage an informed debate about emerging technologies. Jason Major
12/08/2009 8:51:47 AM, on Farm Weekly

When will we stop all this stupid rubbish and start making GM people? The natural way of doing things is always wrong. Everything should be in pill form, including sex and religion.


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