Network of Concerned Farmers (NCF), 8 November 2009
As farmers are commencing delivery of their canola, the agricultural industry is avoiding answering genuine questions from non-GM farmers who claim they need answering prior to delivery. According to the Network of Concerned Farmers (NCF), the grain industry is accepting GM contamination but refusing to outline the difficult conditions and consequences for non-GM farmers.
"This is a tragic and deplorable situation where no one will answer my questions." said Geoffrey Carracher, canola farmer from Minimay and NCF spokesperson.
"It is not going to be possible to sell as non-GM which shows how Governments and Grower Organisations have been bought by big businesses to profit by sabotaging Australia's rural industries and clean green image."
Victorian farmers were recently advised of a 3 day delay after delivery of non-GM canola while the storage and handler Graincorp determined if GM canola was detected in the combined non-GM canola silo. David Ginns of Graincorp was contacted with questions including reported GM price penalties up to $15/tonne, inability to meet contract provisions, compensation, further liability for accidental contamination and legal recourse.
"I also asked, what fines and what level of contamination is required before Monsanto deducts their end point royalty payment from my grain payments?" added Mr Carracher. "This appears to be up to Monsanto's discretion which leaves farmers wondering if we are signing a blank cheque to Monsanto on delivery."
David Ginns from Graincorp responded with, "If you have any questions relating to Roundup Ready canola, please address them to either Monsanto, the owner of the technology, or to the Australian Oilseeds Federation."
The NCF contacted Monsanto, Nufarm, the Australian Oilseeds Federation and more recently, Grain Trade Australia. The only response to date is from the Australian Oilseeds Federation who stated
"The questions you ask are really a matter between yourself and your receival site and/or bulk handler."
[NCF response] "But Graincorp is our receival site and bulk handler but they refuse to answer the questions."
"So we are left with the problem of all delivering our canola, not knowing if we have contamination or if we can fill our signed non-GM contracts, if we will lose our market or be paid less. We may even be fined or charged user fees for the contamination we could not avoid."
"Everyone is passing the buck as nobody wants to tell us the truth that non-GM farmers are faced with additional costs and liabilities that we have been previously told will not be a problem."
"It's just not good enough."
Geoff Carracher (Pronounced "Karr - a - her") Minimay, Victoria Ph: 03 5386 6261
Further correspondence available and updated at www.non-gm-farmers.com media section
Or Julie Newman 0427 711644 for further information.
I recently attended a Grain Corp meeting at Goroke where Grain Corp reps announced there would be a 3 day delay after delivery of NON GM canola to detect any GM contamination in the silo in the event of GM canola being delivered to the site. I have the following questions:
1. If the silo will be classed contaminated, will it effect the price we are paid for non-GM canola or for pre harvest contracted prices?
2. If it is not saleable as the non-GM canola that I delivered, how do I get paid my contract price?
3. As there is a $10-$ 15 price penalty for GM contaminated canola, how will we be compensated if we are unable to sell as non- GM canola. (Victorian Government, Grain Corp who received my uncontaminated grain and mixed it with contaminated grain, GRDC who designed the coexistence principles, the VFF who signed the coexistence principles, the GM patent owner or the farmer who delivered (either knowingly or unknowingly)
4. If contamination is found in my delivery, what are the consequences? Will I be fined? Will I be liable for contamination cleanup of the stack and price difference between non-GM and GM? What level of contamination is required before Monsanto deducts their end point royalty payment from my grain payments?
5. Do I as the innocent NON GM canola grower have to take legal action under Common Law to recover losses, if so who do I take action against?
Due to the seriousness of the situation, I wish to receive an authorised sample taken at the testing station from the same sample taken when I deliver my canola. I will retain this sample in case it is required for further action.