Top chefs say no to GM foods
2.Victoria's top chefs against GM
1.Top chefs say no to GM foods
The Age, May 29 2008
More than 50 of the country's top chefs have united to protest against the introduction of genetically modified (GM) food crops to Australia.
Last month, GM canola crops were planted for the first time in NSW and Victoria after the two states announced they would let their bans on genetically engineered food crops expire.
In response, local celebrity chefs including Neil Perry and Kylie Kwong have signed on to the GM Free Chefs' Charter, launched in collaboration with Greenpeace in Sydney.
The charter, unveiled at chef Jared Ingersoll's Danks Street Depot restaurant in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Waterloo, calls for the NSW and Victorian governments to reverse their position on growing GM canola and demands thorough labelling of all food products that contain GM ingredients.
Oils, starches and sugars, as well as animal feed derived from GM ingredients, should all come with a label, says the charter, which will be presented to Australian governments later this year.
Meat from animals which have eaten GM feed should also be signposted, it says.
There are currently no laws on the labelling of food containing GM canola.
Speaking at the charter's launch, Mr Ingersoll said the unknown long-term effects of eating GM foods were a major concern to him, both as a chef and a parent.
"I don't really want to put food in the mouth of my children that I'm not sure whether or not it's going to be damaging for them," he said.
"I'm not the sort of person that stands in the way of technology making advancement to make things better for people ... but with genetically modified food, once we go down that path then there's no going back.
"We are in the very unique position of having an amazing countryside that can produce lots of beautiful food and if we do take the path of Canada and other GM nations, it's going to be really limiting as to what direction we go in," he said.
GM food crops are known to be difficult to contain, and a 2001 Western Australian parliamentary inquiry into gene technology found the segregation of GM crops from non-GM crops was not practical and cross-contamination was "inevitable".
Mr Ingersoll said the rigorous labelling of GM foods was essential to allow consumers to make informed choices about what they ate.
"What I want to see happen today is that we start to see some labelling, we start to see some responsible action being taken that gives the consumer the opportunity to make the decision, because one thing I know is that politicians will do what they want, big companies will do what they want, but everybody relies on customers," he said.
"Without people supporting these (GM) businesses then these businesses won't be there. So we need to get this labelling in place to give consumers the ability to make their decisions."
2.Victoria's top chefs against GM
Herald Sun, May 29 2008
MANY of Victoria's most famous chefs have united in sticking their knife into genetically modified foods.
TV chef- and Jamie Oliver offsider- Tobie Puttock, cookbook queen Stephanie Alexander, and Guy Grossi of Bourke St staple Grossi Florentino, are among 27 Victorians who have today endorsed a Greenpeace GM Free Chefs Charter.
They will refuse to use any GM products in their kitchens, and are also calling for thorough labelling of all GM products.
The chefs are opposing the recent introduction of GM canola into Victoria and New South Wales.
Many will now begin displaying a GM Free Chefs' Charter logo in their restaurant, windows, and on their website.
Paul Wilson, chef director at South Yarra restaurant The Botanical, said he was dubious there were any benefits of GM foods.
"It is my belief there has not been enough long term testing of GM foods to convince me this is a better and more ecological way of producing food in Australia than we have in place now, and have had in place for centuries,'' Mr Wilson said.
Greenpeace GE campaign coordinator Michelle Sheather said, Chefs are clearly in touch with the feelings of their customers and the groundswell of opposition to GM crops and GM foods.
"At the very least, all foods derived from GM crops should be clearly labelled, so that Australians have the information they need to avoid GM ingredients if they want to,'' Ms Sheather said.
The Federal Government should follow Europe's example and implement stricter labelling laws, she said.
The GM Free Chefs Charter will be delivered to Australian governments later in the year.
VICTORIAN CHEFS OPPOSED TO GM FOODS:
Tobie Puttock, Fifteen Melbourne
Ben Shewry, Attica
Paul Wilson, The Botanical
Matthew Wilkinson, Circa, The Prince
Michael Lambie, Taxi Dining Room
Robert Castellani, Donovan's
Guy Grossi, Grossi Florentino
Mirka at Tolarno Hotel
Chris Rodriguez, Grossi Florentino
Joseph Vargetto, Oyster Little Bourke
Matt Dempsey, Pettavel Winery & Restaurant
Teage Ezard, ezard and Gingerboy
Geraud Fabre of France-Soir
Alla Wolf Tasker, Lake House
Virginia Redmond, Cicciolina
Simon Arkless, Comme Kitchen
Michael Bacash, Bacash
Dallas Cuddy, Verge
Dwayne Bourke, The Argo & Clunes Hotel
Annie Smithers, Annie Smithers Bistrot
Patrice Repellins, Koots
Marcus Allen, Interlude
Neil Cunningham, Healesville Hotel
Luke Palmer, Fork to Fork
Elizabeth Egan, Becco