No Appetite for GM wheat

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Wheat is the staple food of almost half the world’s population. There is no genetically modified (GM) wheat commercialised anywhere in the world yet but GM wheat research, led by the CSIRO, is underway in Australia. Commercial varieties could be authorised as soon as 2015 !

Health risks of GM wheat

Last year, scientists warned the new technology used by CSIRO is the source of many surprises to researchers and prone to unexpected and unpredictable effects that have not been considered in the risk assessments done in Australia. GM wheat may cause Glycogen Storage Disease IV, resulting in an enlarged liver, cirrhosis of the liver, and failure to thrive. Read more

Contamination is unavoidable

Introducing GM wheat would also affect conventional and organic wheat farmers because buyers know segregation is impossible. Just few months ago, an Oregon farmer found illegal GM wheat plants in his field. This herbicide-tolerant wheat developed by the biotech transnational Monsanto was last authorised to be tested in open air fields in this US State in 2001. It is uncertain how the contamination happened. Read more

Our wheat industry at risk

Wheat is Australia’s most important agricultural commodity, estimated to be worth $7.5 billion in 2011-12. About two thirds of it is exported. Despite the value of wheat to the Australian economy, there is little understanding about the potential impact of growing GM wheat in Australia. A 2013 report details the results of an extensive investigation into attitudes towards GM wheat of major wheat buying companies in Australia and in key export markets. The response is overwhelming. Twenty five major food companies, including Barilla, Bakers Delight, Carrefour, Sanitarium, and General Mills state that they are not interested in buying GM wheat, or have a policy excluding all GM ingredients. You can download the full report and read the letters of rejection here. Their concerns give a clear indication that our existing Australian wheat markets would be jeopardised by the introduction of GM wheat or contamination of our wheat supply with devastating economic consequences for tax payers, wheat farmers and the food industry. Read more

 

3 Comments

  • R. Wilson January 14, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I have written to the minister regarding the enforcement chapter in the TPP, much of which protects the guys producing this GM crap along with their murderous cousins in the pharmaceutical and chemical businesses.

    If that piece of TPP crap is ratified with its sovereignty destroying IP clauses in it we wont be able to stop certain countries getting their GMO wheat or anything else in here and then we are stuffed.

    Reply

  • Phil January 16, 2014 at 12:27 am

    If a GM crop produces more grain for the same production costs, it can be sold at a lower price and the GM producer wins. If buyers prefer non GM product and are prepared to pay more, the GM crop looses it’s supposed advantage. Therefore, if efficiency and marketing don’t work then the GM seed producer will attempt to cripple the competition – contaminate – it’s that simple and if legislation can be used to advantage, it’s even easier. The smart thing for Australia to do would be to wait a few years and see what buyers want and how much of a premium they are prepared to pay for non GM product. Many products have had worldwide use – PCB, DDT, lead in petrol – based on assurance they did no harm despite objections. Glycogen Storage Disease is just such a concern. Any legislation proposed should be on the table for all Australians to see and this includes the ‘Fair Trade’ agreements; if they are fair, there should be no problem. I and my family will continue to buy only non GM products and support the Australian companies who buy grain from Australian farmers. Labeling should be mandatory.

    Reply

  • Richard Smith May 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I and all my family only purchase NON GM products and we encourage everyone else we know to do the same. If we all do this and make it clear to food producers that we don’t want GM produce then surely they must listen. Labelling must be mandatory .
    As far as GM being cheaper to produce , that belief will only last until all the organic crops are contaminated and then GM will have the monopoly .
    For thousands of years the human race has survived very well on natural organic produce .
    Why do we now need unnatural GM intervention into the way we produce food , it is totally unnecessary . It will not help feed the starving , ( that is a distribution problem and not a lack of food problem. ) but it will help feed the pockets of the multinational corporations who espouse this new technology . We do not need this technology .
    Exports of GM produce will be limited as many countries are declaring themselves GM Free. They just don’t want GM. Most people in Australia don’t want it. Politicians must listen to us.

    Reply

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