WAFarmers calls for correct facts in GM debate

28 Jan, 2011 11:15 AM
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THE Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) has called for all parties wishing to wade into the discussion on genetically modified (GM) versus organic farming methods, and the implication of each, should ensure that they are well informed and rational in their discussion.

The call follows a media release issued today from Shadow Agriculture Minister, Mick Murray, which has a number of errors in it including his understanding of who WAFarmers members are and who is eligible to apply to the Australian Farmers Fighting Fund.

WAFarmers President, Mike Norton, noted that GM is a topic that many people are passionate about on both sides of the debate, but this does not negate the need for true facts, reason, and a level-headed discussion.

“While there has been much publicity about the situation in Kojonup, there are many unknowns about the situation particularly to those who are not directly involved.

“WAFarmers, along with some other industry representatives, have been trying to establish the facts around the situation and will continue to do so.

“Obviously a number of parties have their own agenda to push in relation to this situation. This is their right, but let’s not lose sight of the facts, surrounding legislation and the individuals involved.

“Unlike Mr Murray, WAFarmers is well aware of who its members are and is engaging with them,” concluded Mr Norton.

WAFarmers will hold its annual review of its genetically modified organism policy in late February 2011.

All WAFarmers members have the opportunity to have their views heard at this review through their local Zone or Commodity Council.

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READER COMMENTS

kojikid
28/01/2011 5:13:38 PM, on Farm Weekly

this is about the best thing I have ever read coming from WAFarmers! Well done guys and keep it up!
Bob phelps
1/02/2011 1:44:45 PM, on Farm Weekly

So, what did Mick Murray actually say in his media release? This looks like a kicking while he's gagged. Will those WAFarmers members who want to remain GM-free also be gagged when WAF's Genetic Manipulation policy comes up for review, or have they already resigned in disgust at the leadership's high handed tactics? No-one wants to eat GM crops. Minister Redman is shirking his legal duty to protect farm produce markets for all growers, ignoring the demand for Australia's GM-free canola. It's so strong in Europe that Co-operative Bulk Handlers (CBH) marketing manager, Peter Elliott, says Europeans will buy 90% of WA's conventional canola production at a 5% premium over GM canola - up to $25/tonne. "When you're growing GM, at the moment you need to compete against Canada, but when you've got non-GM you get a free kick into Europe and some markets in Japan. There's a massive advantage to be growing non-GM this year, because Europe has been so aggressively buying up all the non-GM tonnage." Australia is fast losing its unique competitive advantage for GM-free canola in world markets and farmers will be the losers.

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