Call to abandon GM trials 'scaremongering'

11 Sep, 2012 03:39 PM

THE Western Australia government has dismissed opposition calls to abandon a genetically modified (GM) wheat trial in the light of health concerns as “scaremongering”.

Genetics lecturer Jack Heinemann, based in New Zealand, has claimed that eating one of the CSIRO's GM wheat varieties could lead to liver failure in humans, as it suppresses glycogen production.

CSIRO has trialled both GM and non-GM versions of high amylose wheat, which had increased levels of resistant starch that the organisation hopes could have positive benefits for bowel health and people with diabetes.

CSIRO said although the claims had not been published in a peer-reviewed journal they – and all other relevant research - would be considered by the organisation and regulatory bodies.

In the wake of the report, WA opposition agriculture spokesman Paul Papalia called on the Barnett government to abandon a trial of GM wheat in Merredin – however, a spokesman for WA agriculture minister Terry Redman said the variety in question was not being trialled in the state.

Mr Redman said it was too early to say whether the variety was safe as a trial in the ACT was not yet complete.

"To claim halfway through a trial, speculating in fact, that something's unsafe now is quite frankly too early to do so, and I think scaremongering,'' he told the ABC.

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Scott Kinnear
12/09/2012 7:36:28 AM, on Farm Weekly

It would appear as if there is a CSIRO GM wheat field trial with modification to suppress starch currently approved and underway in WA, contrary to Minister Redman. See for map of trial sites. This map takes you to publishing.nsf/Content/dir112qa-h tm
12/09/2012 8:33:13 AM, on Farm Weekly

Terry Redman needs to check his facts before continuing his blind crusade in support of all and everything GM. There is, in fact, a GM wheat trial occurring in WA that uses the specific form of GM technology that relates to the concerns outlined by the scientists. Unless the OGTR is wrong, see here- gtr/publishing.nsf/content/map What's more, the Minister seems to have completely missed the point of the research. i.e. that the trials will not assess the risks mentioned as they are not even considering them! Wake up Redman, GM wheat is too big a risk!
12/09/2012 10:51:59 AM, on Farm Weekly

Dr Seralini came to WA and expresses his concerns about open air trials of GM wheat! If you want to trial something of the unknown the do it in a closed environment! Do not contaminate our daily bread! We don't want Frankenfoods! Terry Redmond has a lot to answer for!
13/09/2012 2:40:13 PM, on Farm Weekly

Just wondering why this story did not make it to the Farm Weekly's hard copy?


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The Minister of Ag can use WA's Gene Technology Act 2006 to manage GM & GM-free crops for market
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Time will judge if they can implement what growers are asking for. Not what a director
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Absolutely agreed. Chinese demand for high-quality protein is increasing, as is demand from