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GM contamination injustice in WA

February 21, 2011 — BarryK
Western Australia was free of genetically modified crops, until fairly recently. We had the bulwark of a vast arid inland to prevent accidental contamination from farms where GM crops are grown (on the east side of Australia). We also have a strong market for GM-free crops, so have a big incentive to retain our GM-free status.

Despite this, the lobbying by big seed companies such as Monsanto and the gradual corruption of key players (academics, politicians and farm lobby groups), has resulted in some GM crops being allowed in WA.

We have already seen elsewhere, such as Canada, that individual farmers cannot prevent contamination of their farms with GM seed. I recall there was a case in Canada a couple of years ago where a farmer was growing non-GM crops (his own seed), but there was some GM contamination from neighboring farms -- and he was forced not only to sell his crop as GM but also to pay the seed company for growing their GM seed. Quite disgusting.

Big Business has won out in Canada and the US. But, we have an interesting show-down here in Western Australia. Is it possible that the little guy can win this time?

However, I am very pessimistic, based on track records here and overseas. Justice will not be done. But, you never know.

The Organic Assoc. of Australia is backing Steve:

...however a major national farmers organisation is backing the other side.


Username: GCMartin
I clearly understand this problem. [b](I'm am writing this over two(2) comments. this one, below, and the 2nd in the following comment area.)[/b] [b]Part1[/b] Its ashamed that GM products have come to convince Municipalities to subtlely "force" GM seeds into the food production supply chain. Let me give you an idea which might help your position. What is GM seeds which is used to product the GM foods? Most people on the planet have NO IDEA! Its not the fact that they use testing procedure to obtain the seed. "That's the good part as there CAN be benefits to that". BUT (the very "bad-bad-bad" part of all of this) the seed corp. have a international relationship to sell a type of seed that does NOT replenish. In other words, after it is grown to adult plant, the adult's seeds are "infertile". You cannot get a replenishing supply of seeds that can be used in the next growing season. So, you/we are now FORCED, if we want to grow our own, to buy seed/seedling year after year after year. The GM plants cannot be used as a base the next year (generation) crop. Now, here's the problem. If the world suffers some/any world wide problem and you could NOT get seed after a catastrophe, you/I could not take our stock vegetables extract the seed and start growing food because the seed is infertile from a GM food. Right now, the governments are looking at the revenue model where they are always going to tax the farmer on his yield, but also at the revenue associated with the same of the seed that the Seed Companies are generating into government TAX base.

Username: GCMartin
"[b]Part2[/b] - from above post How you stop Seed Company lobbyist from talking to elected officials? The only way is to have some sort of grass-roots movement in WA that insures that the Seed Companies will not get a foot-hold to tear away at WA's strengths. And to get laws in place to guarantee that what happened in Canada doesn't happen in WA. You need a "WA non-GM alliance", maybe in conjunction with some University to build a, separate from Seed company and separate from Government. [u]That Alliance/Organization who deals in non-GM products would take on the planning, testing, and seed-regeneration to counter the current Seed Companies products.[/u] [b]Maybe a New Australian Department backed by local Government for the development and protection of "regenerating" seeds for production of our food supply.[/b] Maybe that organization, can too, lobby your governmnet to declare "for the next 100 years" WA is a non-GM food supply area. Maybe you, too can demonstrate how if the government can interact on your behalf it would be good for them and for Australia, at large as this could become a major contributor to the non-GM foods available for market and the world. Lastly, here's an example of how things can go really wrong for local growers. They too buy seeds for the planting season. Suppose, the Selling seed company "just happened" to get GM seeds mixed in with non-GM seeds. Since all seeds look alike visually, the farmers who plant these will have fields of crops with both plants scattered throughout. Who should be held responsible for this error? In Canada's case ... Maybe WA can take steps now before the "hammer falls" Best of Luck to your community. Maybe you can become a start for swinging the world away from non-generating seeds/foods in the seed and food supply. Create something useful for the rest of the planet. Create the new model.

Username: GCMartin
"How much does ANY person in the world know about the "World's Seed Storage facility"? You are aware of the World's Seed Bank in Antarctica, right? Here's some thoughts for you. Who funded it? Who's running it? What is its public mandate? What is its planned usage? Now you will begin to understand what's going on.... No Conspiracy. Just Facts of where we're headed.

B+C warfare against City People
Username: K. Godt
" The second "Genetic Modification" seems to be the right here 1: The Big farmers in Germany still behaves like aristrocrats from the time of the colonization of the New World 2: The farmers lobby is mostly "CDU" dominated the party which rules mostly here nearly equal to the "Republicans" of the US 3: The European Union and The CDU mainly give money like you have much you get much 4: There is no real solidarity in the society and also not among the farmers 5: The amount of people in the world grows but they go to Canada or Australia and not to Russia :) 6: Most urban people seem not to care about food :S 7: Most part of the New Testament supports such thinking :( 8: If you own much you feel more confident to go to the bank for credit 9: You would need large Glass Houses to protect your crop :S 10: The Civil War in all societies still continues with intuitively or intelligently done actions like these 11: Depending on weather and other circumstances the mentioned farmer will raise again but I think not unchanged 12: Some of the ecological food now comes from Poland to Germany 12a: Think I´ll may to have to go east 13: The farmer should produce Wind Energy : 1 mill a 2 MW should produce 1000KW x 24h x 300d = 7 200 000 KwH a year and here you'd get 8-9 €cents for 1 KwH ~ 576 000€ ~1/2 Million Brutto ; costs 2-3 Millions each 14: 3 000 000 Bucks with interests+payback of 10% is 300 000 Ducks a year 15: And unfortuantely no need for protection against B+C weapons anymore (see point 1) 16: BTW: How to get to Australia with 350 Hucks ? 16a: I seems to me that many people don't know to count Electrical Power -- if they know it they would have already done it :) 17: Just my thoughts -- excuse that I disabled some keys while messing with /etc/inputrc set enable-keypad on Everything best though human needs food but does not live by food alone

Username: GCMartin
"I used some terms that may be confusing to some. Non-generating = an harvested plant whose seeds are "sterile" (we all know that some humans grow to adulthood, yet cannot concieve to have children). Vegetation has been built to be able to grow vegetables whose seeds are sterile. (I hope everyone understands that. It is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the GM equation.) If you extract their seeds and replant, them, there is a very-very high probability that you will NOT get vegetation that was like the original and in many cases, if you did get a plant from it, it would NOT products an editable vegetable (this is called the "yeild") in it produced any at all. Hope this helps.

Concerns about GM
Username: BarryK
"This is an interesting Australian-based site that explains some of their concerns about GM:

GM is not the vegetable.I ts the SEED.
Username: GCMartin
"Barry, I just want to provide a little understanding. GM foods are what is produced by GM seeds. GM seeds is what I am referring to. Producing cross-linked/hybrid vegetables (GM foods) is one thing which has low impact on food supply, but its what they do to insure that the seeds are "sterile" which introduces the contaminants. If they just stop trying to make it sterile, The food supply would be producing safe foods. There is one more hybrid that I am aware of which introduces another contaminant in the grown vegetable. Its a hybrid that is suppose to be resistent to certain bugs. This introduces another question: If bugs wont eat it, who should? Risks go out the window, when they only look at "Harvested Yields", revenue, taxing revenue (gov't) and the cash bottle-line. Hope this helps.

GM crop kills bugs
Username: BarryK
"Yes, it seems that GM crops are of two kinds, those that are herbicide resistant so that herbicide can be sprayed and it only kills the weeds, and crops that deter or kill insects. This site elaborates on the difference: The above article points out the big uptake of GM in third-world countries. Which means that those countries, the least able to afford it, are placing themselves in a position of dependence on Monsanto and other seed companies.

you cannot win
Username: denirost
"Barry, I am sorry to tell you that in this global economy we stand no chance to win this battle. I personally like honest food. I love to cook, and I prefer honest meat, and vegetables and herbs from my own garden. But i know that a global player like Monsanto will win the battle for global domination on the food production. Hell, they even try to patent every major vegetable and even animal. which basicly means they own the rights on the animal and the vegetable they genetically modify. (soy beans is a good example of this) The problems are: there are too many people to grow honest food. City people don't care about food (look at the number of fast food restaurants, and prepared food that can be bought in supermarkets) The mass of the people only care about their bankaccount, how they look and what car and electronics they can buy. New generations will loose feeling with nature. They want everything chewed for them. We live in a global economy. Which means that the major global players have the global market. That means a huge financial interest. Well you know what that means i guess... money and power decides the decissions. Conclusion: within a few decades we will only eat genetically modified food from a few global companies. It's not getting any better. I suggest you stop worrying about it. I have. Luckily i have no kids.

you can win
Username: PaulBx1
"I'm a little doubtful that sterile crops can take over the world, in a natural sense. Seems to go against Darwin... As to politically, yeah, one can't be too cynical when it comes to government. And it's not just Republicans, all major parties are involved. We all live in corporate oligarchies. See my article here: I wouldn't worry too much about patents. Those will only work as long as people keep paying attention to their governments - an action that is looking increasingly stupid and self-destructive these days.

Eat, drink, and be merry
Username: Sit Heel Speak
"We're doomed. GMO canola has crossed the species barrier to result in wild GMO charlock. Charlock is a brassica. Brassicas all readily intercross. Hence in a few decades all cabbage etc. will be GMO contaminated. GMO wheat exists though is being hushed up. A large shipment was discovered being attempted to be snuck into Thailand a few years ago. There is almost no such thing now as maize unpolluted with GM genes. Google Arpad Pusztai. His experiments with potatoes have been replicated, in general, with every GM crop. All are deadly. There is no such thing as a safe one. The deadliness is due to unintended modifications to the genetic machinery which invariably happen during the by-its-nature-inexact gene insertion procedure. This results in unpredicted proteins getting grown out in the growing plant (or animal) in every case. These unpredicted, never-found-in-the-particular-plant-in-nature proteins are being found through grievous experience to be, in general, very toxic. One common effect being, inability to reproduce for more than 3 generations on a GM diet. With the imminent release of GM alfalfa the game is nearly over. All commercial organic cattle ranching and dairy farming depends on alfalfa. Given now that only grass-fed beef and ocean-caught fish is edible, and the supply of non-GMO vegetarian food is dwindling, only aboriginals who have somehow managed to hold fast to their original forage diets, will remain alive 200 years from now. Karmic justice. The real question now isn't "should GM crops be allowed" --that has already been settled as a fait accompli-- but rather, when shall the practice of advance retaliatory summary execution (i.e., assassination --or, better, I favor burning at the stake) of everyone connected with, or who voted in favor of, or who has sown the seed of, Monsanto et al become a governmentally ordained principle of public political discourse?

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