Fasting protest a show of anti-GM sentiment

21 May, 2009 09:58 AM
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Williams, WA, canola growers Jo Fowler (left), Margie Haddrick and Janette Liddelow on the steps of Parliament House in Perth last week, urging the GM canola trials to be aborted.
Williams, WA, canola growers Jo Fowler (left), Margie Haddrick and Janette Liddelow on the steps of Parliament House in Perth last week, urging the GM canola trials to be aborted.

WILLIAMS, WA, canola farmers Jo Fowler, Janette Liddelow, Margie Haddrick and Catherine Higham staged a protest against the growing of Genetically Modified (GM) canola in WA on the steps of Parliament House last week.

The protest involved a two day fasting vigil, with the ladies urging Agriculture Minister Terry Redman to abort the GM canola trials that will be grown across about 850 hectares this year, on three research stations and 17 WA farms.

The protesters said the GM plantings were immoral and illegal and would end traditional farming by taking away grower's rights.

They also refused to describe the GM plantings as trials, saying they were commercial quantities that cleared a pathway for the introduction of GM's into the WA market.

Ms Fowler said the protestors had also started putting out a desperate plea to anyone in the legal fraternity who may be able to help them mount a legal challenge to stop the plantings from going ahead.

"We want people in the Perth metropolitan area to know what's happening with GM food in the food chain right now, and to raise the awareness and protest about the GM canola being planted in WA this year," she said.

"People need to know that GM is going to be in their food after this year.

"It can't be contained and so their oil and meat is going to be contaminated, because we feed livestock on canola stubble.

"On top of that farmers stand to lose their freedom as farmers and ultimately become controlled under the patent of Monsanto.

"We want the government to stop it now before it's too late."

The trials are already underway, with some of the GM canola seed already sown.

However, Ms Liddelow said they could be halted.

"They can be sprayed out the minute they get up," she said.

"That doesn't mean that it can't be stopped now."

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READER COMMENTS

brett sanders
21/05/2009 7:40:26 AM

Thank you ladies for standing up for what many many Australians believe in, and that is certainly not gm food. The proponents of gm say 'we' are a loud but small minority- illustrating just how far removed from reality they are. Most consumers would choose not to buy gm if they had a choice (newspoll). So why do we have some ignorant, head in the sand farmers that think they know better? Gm is highly risky, posing many potential negative health, environmental, social and economic consequences. It's just another band-aid fix pushed onto the rest of us by greedy corporations out for control and profit.

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