|More bulldust from Oz lobbyists (29/9/2006)|
Australia continues to boast some of the world's most shameless GM promoters.
In the article below we have the CSIRO's plant industry deputy chief, Dr T J Higgins, claiming that buyers overseas, such as Japan, are opening up to genetically modified products, despite voicing opposition in the past.
Unfortunately, for Dr Higgins this improbable claim comes at exactly the same time that news is breaking about Japan not only banning American long-grain rice because of possible GM contamination, but introducing testing on short- and mid-grain rice.
It also comes at the same time as news that Japanese foodmakers are seeking new suppliers of other foods "in an effort to meet demand from local consumers who are wary of food containing modified ingredients." And Australian soybean suppliers are among the beneficiaries.
Higgins, though, complains that Australia does not get a premium for its non-GM oilseed (canola) in Japan, but fails to mention that Japan is not Australia's only significant oilseed market.
Recently Richard Koch, the Managing Director of Profarmer explained to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) how being GM free is helping Australia escape very low oilseed [canola] prices: "Where Australia has been benefitted is that our rapeseed is GM-free, free of genetically modified organisms, so we have been their preferred supplier into that EU market for the past 18 months or so."
Of course, this is not the first time that this GM scientist has been caught out over the "inaccuracy" of his GM promotion: http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=5348
CSIRO, Dr Higgins' employer, also has a less then reassuring track record:
Finally, the article below also says that, "South Australia's Eyre Peninsula has called for the state's ban on GM food crops to be lifted, to help beat the problem of herbicide resistance" by letting them access glyphosate-tolerant GM canola. This is more than ironic given that the greatest weed-resistance concern in the US is glyphosate tolerance!
And in Australia Stephen Powles, a world-leading expert on weed resistance at the Western Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (WAHRI) at the University of Western Australia, has been warning for years that glyphosate resistance in weeds is driven by herbicide resistant GM crops.
Queensland urged to take advantage of new GM technologies
Queensland and the Northern Territory have not followed the other states in banning GM crops.
The CSIRO's plant industry deputy chief, Dr T J Higgins, says buyers overseas, such as Japan, are opening up to genetically modified products, despite voicing opposition in the past.
"The ironic thing is our major competitor in Canada produces GM canola, mixes it with the non-GM canola and sells it to Japan very competitively with Australia," Dr Higgins said.
"Australia does not get a premium for its non-GM canola in Japan. So I ask myself the question - why are we put at a potential disadvantage to our competitors?"
At the same time, a group of farmers on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula has called for the state's ban on GM food crops to be lifted, to help beat the problem of herbicide resistance.
They want access to glyphosate-tolerant GM canola, to control weeds in no-till farming, saying they are fast running out of other options.