Genetically Modified Food (GMO) Concerns

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Australians have the right to know, if GMO’s can have a detrimental effect on their health. Many people believe they are not safe. Also, why are we allowing Monsanto to take control of food. 

I was first informed about Monsanto in 1999. There are many questions to be asked. The silence is deafening from other political parties, lets wake them up and start asking questions.

Former One Nation Senator, Len Harris, called for a Moratorium on the field trials of genetically engineered food crops in Australia. Approved GE crop trials include apples, sugarcane, pineapples, wheat, grapes, barley, paw paw, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, canola and cotton.

"I am calling for a moratorium because I do not believe GE crops are being adequately monitored by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR)" 

"The latest report from the OGTR indicates only 16 of the 105 trial sites that were current for the July to September 2001 quarter were monitored and of the 581 sites subject to post harvest monitoring during the quarter, only 68 were visited. I wonder whether the OGTR is critically under funded and under resourced?" "Of the 16 sites visited, remedial action was necessary in four cases - two involving Aventis and two involving Monsanto. I question what is going on at the other 89 current sites and the 513 post harvest sites that were not visited..." 

"Every single Genetically Engineered crop must be monitored because it is being grown as a 'trial' - an experiment - and the environmental hazards of these crops are still unknown." 

"There is scientific evidence to suggest that wind, insect pollinators, birds, rain and possibly even cattle can carry genetically altered pollen into adjoining fields, polluting the DNA of crops of organic and non GE farmers..."  

"The OGTR is already investigating two instances where gene flow may have occurred under the voluntary system prior to 21 June 2001. Once DNA has escaped into the environment, it is impossible to remove or destroy it." 

"Many farmers are diversifying into organics due to industry deregulation and Genetically Engineered crop trials are a particular threat to them," Senator Harris said. As of July 2001, there were 105 deemed licences covering 629 sites for genetically engineered crop trials in Australia." 

The breakdown was:

Queensland 41; NSW 143; SA 130; WA 156; Tasmania 59; NT 10; Victoria 83; ACT 7.

"Australia is being used as a huge experimental laboratory. I will be asking the Minister whether the proliferation of Genetically Engineered crop trials around Australia is deliberately targeted very broadly to create the situation where no area will be able to substantiate it's GE free status." 

Senator Harris sharply criticised the OGTR's website for 'information obfuscation. 

"Certainly, all of the trials are listed, but there is no universal document providing the name of the company involved, the precise location of the trial, the trait that has been engineered and the number of acres under cultivation." 

"The way the website has been set up, you have to correlate one master file (a PDF) with each individual licence application (again, a PDF file) to ascertain exactly what is or has been grown and where. The data is not presented in a user friendly manner." 

"2002- 2003 is likely to see an upsurge of new applications for licences as companies seek to continue their work. This is an opportune time for a moratorium to commence..." 

By Pauline Hanson. 



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