March against GM food in Melbourne
2.MAdGE marches against GM food
3.Tasmanians urged to go organic
1.Anti-GM protest in Melbourne
Concerned Consumers Group, 21 may 2008
ANTI-GM protesters marched on the streets of Melbourne, Australia this week to protest about the lack of scientific testing on Genetically Modified food and the non-labeling of GM contaminants.
More than 200 people attended the rally, marching from the State Library representing the font of knowledge to parliament house steps representing the government, voicing their concerns that they want a choice to avoid GM food which would be impossible due to contamination.
Vicki Wilson from the Concerned Consumers Group said "full independent scientific testing was needed before consumers were forced to eat this food and all testing is not to be manipulated by any corporation or government".
She also said "This technology is in its infancy no matter what they say, and they are playing with our food and making us the guinea pigs. But eventually, like the tobacco industry, the harm that GM could do to us, will be revealed, but at what cost?"
Boxes of scientific evidence with the dangers of genetically modified food, were presented to Senator Lyn Allison to give to her associates in the government to show that GM food is not sufficiently tested for dangers to the health of consumers and this research clearly showed that there is a potential for harm to all consumers.
MAdGE marches against GM food
Green Left Weekly issue #752, 28 May 2008
MAdGE (Mothers Against Genetic Engineering) took its opposition to genetically modified food to the streets on May 21, to coincide with a May 21-22 GM crops summit in Melbourne.
MAdGE was formed in 2007 when the Victorian ALP government announced it was reviewing the moratorium on GM food. Premier John Brumby's government lifted the moratorium on February 28.
MAdGE organiser Fran Murrell slammed the limitations of the government review: “The panel ”¦ was only required to look at the economic aspects of lifting the ban. There was no obligation to examine the health effects of GM crops or their effect on the environment.
She added: “Data from the US Department of Agriculture shows 15 times more pesticide is sprayed on US crops since the introduction of GM crops ”¦ Farmers have reported that pigs fed GM corn had fertility problems and gave birth to bags of water. We need this dangerous technology out of our food until full tests are done.”
Vicki Wilson from the Concerned Consumers Group told the protesters, “This technology is in its infancy ”¦ they are playing with our food and making us the guinea pigs. Eventually, like the tobacco industry, the harm that GM could do to us will be revealed, but at what cost?” MAdGE points out that Food Standards Australia New Zealand does no independent testing of GM foods, relying instead on studies done by the biotech companies themselves.
Several Gippsland farmers were among the 100 protesters. One told Green Left Weekly that she was disgusted with the Victorian Farmers Federation for believing the Monsanto propaganda about GM crops.
The protest demanded: that governments stop approving GM crops and food until multi-generational, independent trials are done; that GM foods currently in the food chain be removed until they are proven safe; and that GM canola planted in Australia this year be uprooted before it can flower, spread pollen and seed, and pollute the environment.
3.Tasmanians urged to go organic
FoodWeek (Australia), 22 May 2008
The Tasmanian government wants to expand the state's organic farming industry.
Primary Industries Minister, David Llewellyn, says it wants to brand the state with clean and natural practices. To that end it is hosting a conference on organic conversion in Launceston this week.
Llewellyn says organic produce commands premium prices in national and international markets.
"It's something that I really think is very important and we've redoubled our efforts to try to get some interest in organics, more than what is already very significant interest already here in Tasmania."
Meanwhile, a group of Tasmanian farmers has secured a deal to supply Japan with canola that's free of genetically-modified materials.
They will combine with farmers from South Australia's Kangaroo Island to supply canola.
Two shipments have already arrived in Japan.
The deal will treble the amount of canola grown in Tasmania to about 3,000 tonnes next year.