World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Australian farmer falls prey to GE contamination

First Australian farmer falls prey to GE contamination


The first confirmed case of genetically engineered (GE) contamination in a field of commercial canola has struck a Victorian farmer. The incident opens up a legal mine-field for farmers and threatens Australian export markets.

Geoffrey Carracher, a Canola farmer from Wimmera, accepted a Greenpeace offer to test his canola seeds at an independent lab. The seeds were found to be contaminated with Bayer's Liberty Link gene at a level of 0.5%. This is 50 times higher than the original GE contamination found in June.

Alarmingly, the 'Grace' seeds he purchased were also sold to farmers across three states: NSW, Victoria and South Australia, creating serious legal and financial problems for them.

"I am devastated. My 64 hectare crop worth $48,000 is now at risk. Any farmers who sowed Grace canola face the same risk and need to get their crop tested," said Mr Carracher.

Greenpeace has begun testing canola seeds for GE contamination because State Governments, seed companies and the biotech industry have failed to take decisive action to stop the spread of GE.

"Testing seed samples from farmers should have been done months ago, by industry and government," said Greenpeace GE campaigner Jeremy Tager. "Laboratory analysis takes 3-5 days. Contaminated canola varieties could have been identified within a matter of a few weeks, and a plan developed for protecting farmers and our food shortly after that."

"The GE industry insists that we must all accept this sort of contamination, when it is a direct result of their incompetence and lack of care. They want to convince us that we can 'be a little bit pregnant', in reality any level of contamination threatens Australia's GE free status," said Tager.

Greenpeace opposes the release of genetically engineered plants into the environment because it will create a new form of biological pollution that is extremely difficult to control and whose impacts are virtually unknown.

Mr Carracher, who is dedicated to being and remaining a GE-free farmer, wants the company that owns the GE product to be held accountable.

"I want Bayer to take responsibility - they own the patent and they get the profit, so it's only fair that they should be liable for what happens to farmers like me."

Greenpeace proposes an action plan that would address the current crisis. It includes: comprehensive testing of seed stocks; a farmer protection fund to cover farmers' costs, and strict liability for GE products, so that holders of the patent are held responsible for harm and contamination caused by their product.

A copy of the laboratory test results is downloadable from the link below. Please note: These tests were carried out by the AgriQuality GMO Services lab in Melbourne. They are an independent, accredited laboratory with no affiliation to Greenpeace.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news