Call for inquiry into GM feed study funding

12 Nov, 2009 11:54 AM

EDSTAR Genetics principal Dr Ian Edwards has called for a Parliamentary inquiry into the decision to fund a controversial animal feeding study on Genetically Modified (GM) canola.

The $92,000 study was approved by the former State Labor Government more than two years ago.

It is being conducted by leading Australian scientist Dr Judy Carman at the Institute of Health and Environmental Research (IHER) in Adelaide.

However, Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman has recently expressed concern that his Government was being kept in the dark and had minimal knowledge or details of the study’s whereabouts.

Mr Redman says it was a serious issue of public accountability.

His office has written to Dr Carman to obtain details of the study, but is so far dissatisfied with the response.

Dr Carman’s animal feeding study is now unlikely to be used as part of the GM Crops Free Areas Act 2003 review, which is likely to produce a decision when Parliament re-sits next January.

Dr Edwards was a member of Labor’s GMO Reference Group, and was extremely critical of the $92,000 feeding study when it was first approved.

“Frankly this research should never have been approved in the first place,” he said.

“But given that $92,000 worth of WA taxpayers' money has been spent, I think there should be an inquiry as to what the outcome is and I think we deserve that reply.

“It was the Labor party who oversaw the approval of the money being spent and the Labor Cabinet, and they are the ones I see who would need to be held accountable, not our current Minister.”

Dr Edwards said he was concerned Mr Redman had not been provided with any documentation on the study’s progress or its protocols.

“Quite honestly I think we have a right, as WA taxpayers and growers, to demand that there be a response from Dr Carman about where these Government funds are, and the WA taxpayer money that has been sent into oblivion,” he said.

Date: Newest first | Oldest first


12/11/2009 12:43:30 PM, on Farm Weekly

Dr Edwards like many in the GM lobby will try any means to discredit or malign scientists who question their pro GM stance. Only when peer reviewed feeder trials are allowed to be presented openly, will I be accepting of the evidence. I have not been able to obtain any studies which verify the claims made by the pro GM lobby. To the contrary, evidence showing varying issues with the immune, reproductive and metobolic systems of animals fed high proportions of GM protein and carbohydrate, has been prevented/quarantined from public scrutiny by apologists for the GM industry.
Madeleine Love
13/11/2009 3:31:10 PM, on Farm Weekly

Under no circumstances should Judy Carman at the IHER provide any information about the study beyond that provided by established scientific protocol. Last week I sent a link of an article in the GM trade journal "Nature Biotechnology" to all WA politicians . This article detailed many of the ways that independent science looking at GM food and crops is restricted and interfered with by the GM biotech companies. "GM industry's strong-arm tactics with researchers - Nature Biotechnology" volume 27 number 10 october 2009 nature biotechnology Article at author's website: I wonder if one or two of the WA politicians and friends have been reading this article and are practicing the tactics mentioned? It is absolutely vital that purely independent research is carried out on this crop, since there has been NONE. Even studies in Canada finding GM canola DNA in the digestive tissues of sheep and pigs, and in the liver and kidney of pigs, depended on feed provided by Monsanto. People in Australia, Canada, Europe are eagerly looking forward to the results of the IHER study.
14/11/2009 2:49:13 PM, on Farm Weekly

Dr Edwards & Terry Redman either have something to hide or have vested interest. For the public good there definitely should be animal feeding tests done. If you as a company are proud of your product you would naturally have agreed to this testing, not cull it. I ask what are you hiding? If these tests are stopped it will be spread over this nation and asking for AN INQUIRY AS TO WHY???? Mr Redman how much did your trip to Canada cost and who wined and dined you there? Could we have printed your itinery please, and your expenses?
Merri Bee
15/11/2009 10:56:17 AM, on Farm Weekly

I believe Dr Carmen is keeping her research private until it is published and peer reviewed which is an intelligent measure to take. Dr Carmen, along with many other esteemed scientists around the world (Arphad Pusztai , Dr Mae Won Ho, David Susuki to name a few) has been bullied and denigrated in the past by the Pro GM lobby and knows they will stop at nothing to cover up the truth that GM foods cause harm to animals. Really sad that Farm Weekly is printing so many unbalanced pro Gm articles. Where's the opposing view in this piece? Was Judy Carmen contacted?
16/11/2009 4:05:04 PM, on Farm Weekly

It strikes me that a study investigating the potential impacts of genetically engineered (GE) foods before they are more widely released into the food chain is a pretty good use of public funds - and something I'd be happy for my tax dollars to go towards. However, the amount of funding going into investigating the potential adverse effects of GE foods and crops is dwarfed by the many millions of dollars of public money going into their development. This is despite the United Nations recent International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development study showing that GE crops have only a limited role to play in solving world hunger. What we really need is an inquiry into the commercial relationships between the WA Government and the GE crop industry. Then perhaps we might see why the WA Government seems so committed to a technology with no proven benefits, which none of our markets want.
16/11/2009 5:15:15 PM, on Farm Weekly

So Minister Redman and his Dept are being kept in the dark! Well at least that will be a familiar environment for him! He's been there for some time now! Covered by the blanket of ignorance thrown over him by Monsanto and its acolytes. Of course he should not be given the details of the research in question until it has been completed. He is probably concerned that he won't have time to prepare answers to questions that may arise from the said research. Tough! he should have had some decent independant research done before promoting GM crops and I don't mean the Monsanto promotional garbage he has been spouting so far. Ministers like Mr Redman usually know very little about the subject matter of the Dept that they head. Why should they? He is merely the bagman who gives the money allocated to his department to the head of the department and if he is a smart minister he lets them get on with the job. In Minister Redman's case he decided that he was qualified to put his oar in! Bad mistake! One day he will have to justify allowing this American corporation to hijack agriculture in WA. Let's hope it's sooner rather than later!
16/11/2009 8:09:25 PM, on Farm Weekly

How many more years do we have to succumb to a government afraid to do the right thing by the people? Isn't this country polluted enough by the big Farma who exploit this land, its animals and people's health? Why are we so meek? Tall poppy syndrome is rife and is destroying the nations's psyche. Shame on you who have no conscience. Why is the gene marker GE technology suppressed still? It is a crime against this land and its people. I know you have no courage to publish this but I know you will share it at least. Wake up and do what is best for this nation first not obliterate its resources. Men where are your morals? Greed and power won't make you happy.


Screen name *
Email address *
Remember me?
Comment *


light grey arrow
Rusty...A shearing shed on a small place, might be used a week to five each year. 50 years down
light grey arrow
No varieties of barley left in WA suitable for Craft Beer production and little research. Craft
light grey arrow
We farm at Beacon we had no rain last time .Since the 1st of Jan.we have recorded 45 mm ,6mm