When the Australian States rejected GM they came under a barrage of criticism and none more so than Victoria which was accused of giving in to "the growing Green religion" which was "making Australians poorer and sillier".
Well to the fore amongst those firing flack were the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) - the right-wing Australian 'think tank' that has Monsanto amongst its funders - and the president of the Victorian Farmers Federation, Paul Weller. http://theage.com.au/text/articles/2004/03/26/1079939845869.html
Here Victoria's Minister for Agriculture replies to Weller, telling the Federation leader his views are out of line with farmers in Victoria. For more on the IPA, see: http://www.lobbywatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=259&page=I
Federation out of step on GM crops
The Border Mail, Thu, Apr 29, 2004
IN affirming his view that to decide against the commercialisation of genetically modified canola is "disgraceful", Victorian Farmers Federation president Mr Paul Weller asks what is the view of farmers in my electorate towards GM.
I can tell him how many of the calls to my electorate office concerning GM support the VFF leaderships position.
The answer is none - not one.
When I went to the annual dinner of the VFF Midlands branch the anti-GM sentiment was extremely strong. This view reflects the opinion of so many farmers around the State who fear the consequences.
And why wouldnt farmers want to adopt a cautious approach when marketers like the AWB, the dairy and pork industries say markets would be harder to get into, not easier, if we were to be seen as a GM food producer.
The science of marketing dictates that the perceptions of consumers cannot be ignored.
The Bracks Government is pro-business.
That's why our Victoria: Leading the Way economic statement included bringing forward plans for channel deepening and easier (and cheaper) rail access to the Port of Melbourne.
The Government makes no apologies for boosting business and protecting export markets.
BOB CAMERON, Minister for Agriculture
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