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Australian Govt Admits It's All Or Nothing Witn GE

24 June 2002

Australian Government Admits It's All Or Nothing With GE

The Australian Government has admitted what farmers have always known and feared - that buffer zones or GE-free zones to keep GE and GE-free crops separate are unrealistic and unworkable, Green Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said today.

In response to fears from farmers who want to keep marketing their crops as GE-free, New South Wales Agriculture Minister Richard Amery has admitted buffer zones are 'unrealistic' and that nobody has been able to show how they would work.

"This admission comes right at the time when Monsanto is applying for the commercial release of genetically engineered canola crops in Australia," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"If the Labour Party are successful in lifting the moratorium on release into the environment it is just a matter of time before similar applications are made here."

Mr Ewen-Street said this admission meant it was all or nothing with the release of genetically engineered organisms.

"Buffer zones or GE-free zones are just nonsense. Once genetically engineered crops are released there is no protection for farmers who want to keep their crops GE-free," he said.

"The Greens are saying we must learn from the mistakes of others when it comes to whether we keep or abandon our GE-free status."


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