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Royal Commission Report a Fraud


Royal Commission Report a Fraud

The release of a report by the UK Soil Association entitled “Seeds of doubt: experiences of North American farmers of genetically modified crops” has led Groundswell spokesperson Tremane Barr to conclude that the Royal Commission on Genetic Modifications belief that it is possible to “preserve opportunities” by segregating GE agriculture from GE free conventional and organic agriculture has been proven to be a fraud.

“The Soil Associations ‘Seeds of Doubt’ report confirms all the evidence the Royal Commission was presented with and yet choose to ignore. The evidence proved that it is simply not possible to control genetically modified agricultural organisms from contaminating GE free conventional and organic agriculture and thus the whole food chain. The Commissioners have deliberately tried to mislead the public into believing it is possible for there to be co-existence by systematically ignoring all the evidence they were presented with. As such, the Royal Commissions report is a fraud.” said Tremane Barr.

The UK Soil Associations report is based on research carried out from interviews with American and Canadian farmers with analysis of existing research from other organisations and scientists. The main findings of the report are that in North America there has been widespread contamination of conventional and organic non-GE crops from GE crops which has led to both farmers and Biotech companies suing each other over legal liability issues arising from the contamination. Furthermore, there has been a collapse of overseas markets for both the GE and GE contaminated conventional and organic varieties, increased use of herbicides, lower yields from GE crops overall and a reduction in overall profitability for those farmers choosing to grow GE crops. As a result, the American tax payer has had to pay more in agricultural subsidies to prop up the failing agricultural sector. This has resulted in a premium for those farmers all around the world who can prove that their crops are GE free. [1]

“The government must now recognise that their whole GE strategy to allow for the automatic expiry of the GE moratorium in October 2003 is in disarray. The Royal Commission by ignoring the evidence of widespread GE contamination of agriculture in North America has defrauded all of us, particularly the average New Zealander who trusted them to deal with the complex issues and arrive at a position which would protect their interests.”

“Instead we have been handed a GE contaminated poisoned chalice by a Royal Commission intent on supporting genetic engineering even if it costs NZ farmers and consumers from having any choice in keeping our agriculture and food supply free from GE contamination. It is time for the government to recognise the fact that it is not possible to avoid GE crops from contaminating non-GE agriculture and if this was allowed to occur would devastate parts of our agricultural economy. In order to avoid this the government needs to extend the moratorium indefinitely on the release of genetically modified organisms into our agriculture.” said Tremane Barr

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