GM contamination ”” broken vow fury
1.GM contamination - broken vow fury
2.GM-crop hopes shot
1.GM contamination - broken vow fury
The Mail, 14 Dec 2010
AGRICULTURE Minister Terry Redman has broken his promise that there would be no contamination of non-genetically modified (GM) crops by nearby GM farms, Shadow Minister for Agriculture Mick Murray said on Monday.
Tests revealed nearly two-thirds of a non-GM farm in Kojonup was contaminated after a neighbour's GM material blew onto the property, Mr Murray said.
"Not only has the crop been contaminated, but sheep have also consumed contaminated material," he said.
"The farmer now risks losing his organic certification and is left with crops he cannot sell.
"The financial impacts of the contamination could be devastating and it is only a matter of time before more non-GM crop farmers will be forced to pay for the Barnett Government's reckless stance on GM crops.
"This is pitting farmer against farmer, neighbour against neighbour," Mr Murray said.
Nannup organic farmer Bee Winfield agreed.
"What is happening on this Kojonup organic grower's farm is no doubt happening wherever GM canola has been grown across the state," she said yesterday. "We know of another organic farmer who had two neighbours growing GM this year. Both these farms have supplied us with organic grain for our animals for years. They are gone now as businesses.
"Things are panning out as we predicted ”” in fact worse than we could have imagined.
"We warned Redman a buffer zone of five metres was a joke."
Mr Murray said the Barnett Government had ignored Labor's repeated warnings about the threat of contamination.
"There will be huge social ramifications for regional towns and communities when litigation between neighbours breaks out over contamination," he said.
"Agriculture Minister Terry Redman committed to a random audit of compliance in March this year, but there has been no word if this has ever been done.
"Establishing the Department of Agriculture and Food’s online geographic information system is nowhere near enough to stop contamination.
"No preventative measures can prevent contamination of non-GM crops and that is why 27,000 Western Australians signed a petition against the Barnett Government's plan.
"The first year of the Barnett Government's GM crop trials has been a shambles.
"The minister must immediately reveal his plan for stopping any further contamination of non-GM crops."
The GM Free consumers network spokeswoman Janet Gro-gan commented: "Kojonup organic farmer Steve Marsh seems set to make history as WA's first victim of commercial GM crops while Agriculture Minister says he is 'taking Mr Marsh's concerns seriously' - in fact so seriously he is suggesting that organic standards should be watered down to accept the contamination!
"Meanwhile it all appears as collateral damage to the State Government as the GM machine continues to be rolled out at a rate of knots, with GM wheat high on the agenda at the recent international grains meeting in Perth last week despite continued resistance in the European Union and the United States. Let's stand up for our farmers, and say 'no' to GM wheat and 'yes' to stricter controls and penalties to protect them and their livelihoods from unwanted GM contamination."
2.GM-crop hopes shot
Weekly Times Now, November 15 2010
A CROP of genetically modified canola in the Mallee has sprouted in the pod while still green.
The unusual phenomena was found last week by Quentin Willmott in a 65ha crop of NuSeed's Roundup Ready variety GT scorpion he grew with his father, Kevin, at Beulah.
Quentin discovered the problem when he began checking pods to see if the crop was ready for windrowing.
He found about 10-15 per cent of seeds - mostly from the lower pods of plants - had sprouted, which potentially could render his crop worthless.
About half the seeds in affected pods had begun shooting.
Kevin said the seed would be rejected if more than 5 per cent were sprouted.
"We won't be able to give it away," he said.
"I've been farming all my life and I have never seen a green crop shoot."
Quentin said they had to re-sow the GT scorpion canola after locusts ravaged the paddock in April, wiping out about 90 per cent of the young seedlings.
"We got the crop in the second time as early as possible (after the locust attack) to keep the crop even," he said.
"So this crop has already cost us a lot of money."
Nuseed has inspected the crop two or three times and promised further inspections.
The Willmotts are in dispute with the seed company on both the cause and extent of the sprouting.
NuSeed's Victorian manager Rob Christie said the crop had been hit by frost, causing it to mature early.
Mr Christie said moisture in the pods, possibly from rain, had caused seed to sprout.
He inspected 100 pods and said less than 5 per cent of seed had sprouted.
"We're convinced it is a frost problem," he said.
"It's pretty unusual for this to happen.
"But the seed should shrivel up and blow out the back of the header at harvest.
"I wouldn't be surprised if this happens all the time and farmers don't know it is going on."
The Willmotts are not convinced frost has caused the problem and were seeking an independent opinion before
considering their next step.
"We have never seen frost-affected canola shoot like that," Quentin said.
He said that what ever action was taken, they had still had a proportion of losses in their crop. They might even seek compensation.
Kevin said if the sprouting was likely to see the crop rejected at delivery, they might have to burn it.
"It was a really good looking, healthy crop," he said.
"That's what is so annoying about it all."