THE State Government has ruled out using vital research from a critical animal feeding trial as part of its current review of the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act 2003.
The review will determine if the moratoria on GM canola in WA will be lifted to allow it to be grown commercially next season and possibly beyond.
The controversial animal feeding trial, that has been subsidised by taxpayers and was approved by the previous State Government in June 2007, continues to be shrouded in secrecy.
A game of cloak and dagger is now being played out between the State Government and the scientist responsible for the work.
Former Agriculture Minister Kim Chance commissioned leading Australian scientist, Dr Judy Carman to conduct the $92,000 feeding study through the Institute of Health and Environmental Research (IHER), where she is based in Adelaide.
However, despite the Labor Party being dumped from office, details are still being kept from the new Government.
Current Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman is concerned his State Liberal-National Government has been kept in the dark and has minimal knowledge or details of the study’s whereabouts.
Mr Redman spoke about the issue to Farm Weekly last week, as the first load of GM canola was being delivered to the CBH Metro Grains Centre in Forrestfield; harvested from this year’s large scale trials.
He said the $92,000 study presented a serious issue of public accountability.
Mr Redman said he had written to Dr Carman recently, and three times in the past year, to obtain details of the study.
However, he is dissatisfied with the response he has received so far.
His office confirmed the funding had been approved in June 2007 and money had been paid for the work to go ahead.
The normal practice for trial work paid for with public funding is for the Minister and his Department to be kept informed of progress, even if it is communicated through confidential progress reports.