SA breaks ranks with first commercial GE canola crop

An admission by the South Australian State Government that genetically engineered (GE) canola planted in South Australia is for purely commercial purposes, has undermined the GE moratorium in SA and threatens supply chains in other states, Greenpeace said today.

Greenpeace GE campaigner Jeremy Tager said, “Once the canola seed leaves the state, all South Australian restrictions disappear. There is no requirement to control the movement of the seeds, track where they end up or how they are transported,” he said.

The purpose of the planting of GE canola in SA is to produce bulk GE seed, and it is estimated that the 18 hectares of trials will produce enough seeds for approximately 5000 hectares of planting.

Mr Tager said, “This under-regulated commercial harvest of millions of GE canola seed poses a major threat to GE-free supply chains in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

“Bayer have a long history of bending the rules and making outright stuff-ups with their GE trials, so we’re obviously concerned about where these seeds will end up.

“Is it just a coincidence that this is exactly how much GE canola Bayer Cropscience and the pro-GE Agriculture Minister Ian Macdonald want to plant in NSW?

“We are calling on the Victorian, NSW and WA Governments to prohibit the transport of these GE canola seeds into their states.

“We are also asking the NSW Government to reveal whether these seeds are destined for proposed large scale plantings in the state next year.

This situation highlights the need for all states together to act to respect the GE free status of others.

“One rogue state can undermine the moratoria in all other states by allowing commercial seed production or large-scale plantings. There needs to be coordinated, state-based agreements to ensure that no single state can make a decision on GE that will threaten farmers or markets in other states,” Mr Tager said.






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