EXTRACT: At this moment, there is a high probability that the moratoria in NSW, Victoria and South Australia will be lifted. Under these circumstances, we have had the opportunity to state accurately the actual situation in Japan, which is that Japanese consumers are rejecting GM food very strongly. Japan is currently the biggest buyer of Australian canola.
An appeal to extend the moratorium concerning GM crop cultivation in Australia
Keisuke Amagasa October 20 2007
We, representatives of consumers' groups in Japan, are currently visiting four states in Australia between 14 and 22 October 2007, in order to deliver a letter demanding state premiers to extend their moratoria on GM crop cultivation, and a petition to support the moratoria signed by a large number of organizations. The delegation consists of Ms. Seiko Matsuda from the Green Co-op Consumers' Co-operative Union, Ms. Ryoko Shimizu (Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union) and Mr. Keisuke Amagasa (NO! GMO Campaign, Consumers Union of Japan). The petition is signed by 155 Japanese consumer organisations, whose total membership represents 2.9 million Japanese consumers.
On 16 October, we visited the New South Wales parliament in Sydney, and met Mr. Ian Cohen MLC. He raised a question to the Minister for Primary Industries, Ian MacDonald, regarding our letter at the Senate right after our meeting, and received a response from the Minister. Thereafter, we communicated our demand and presented our counterargument to the Minister's response. We then handed the letter and the petition directly to the Minister's advisor.
On 18 October, we visited the Department of Primary Industries of the State of Victoria, in Melbourne, and met Dr Deborah Peterson, Deputy Secretary for Policy & Strategy, and two other senior officials. We communicated our demand, handed the letter and the petition to them, and received their firm commitment to bring our demand to the Chair of the GM review panel.
On 19 October, we visited the South Australian parliament in Adelaide, the Shadow Cabinet, Mitch Williams MP and many other parliamentarians. Thereafter, we met the chairperson of the Minister's Advisory Committee, Ms Anne Levi, to exchange views concerning the GM crop moratorium. We then presented the letter together with the petition to the governor of the state through the Hon Jack Snelling, the speaker of the Lower House. Copies of the letter will be provided to all the members of the parliament.
On 22 October, we will be meeting the Minister for Agriculture and Food of Western Australia, the Hon Kim Chance MLC, in Perth, and will present the letter and the petition directly to him.
At this moment, there is a high probability that the moratoria in NSW, Victoria and South Australia will be lifted. Under these circumstances, we have had the opportunity to state accurately the actual situation in Japan, which is that Japanese consumers are rejecting GM food very strongly. Japan is currently the biggest buyer of Australian canola.
The GM review panel in each state will be presenting their reports concerning the GM crop moratorium in each state very soon now. We anchor our hopes on millions of consumers all over the world sending appeals to extend the Australian states' moratoria on GM crop cultivation.
NO! GMO Campaign: http://www.no-gmo.org/ Nishi Waseda 1-9-19-207, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 169-0051 Japan
Tel: +81-3-5155-4756 / Fax: +81-3-5155-4767