Environmentalists have voiced their concerns surrounding the unknown threat genetically modified foods have on the natural environment following a unique Supreme Court ruling last week.June 3, 2014 3:06am
Environmentalists have voiced their concerns surrounding the unknown threat genetically modified foods have on the natural environment following a unique Supreme Court ruling last week.
Western Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh sued his neighbour Michael Baxter, alleging he lost his organic certification for more than half his farm after GM canola drifted onto his land from Mr Baxter’s property.
The court ruled against Mr Marsh, stating there was no evidence of any genetic transference risk by the GM canola.
Goulburn Murray environment group chairman John Pettigrew said genetically modified plants or ‘‘super-plants’’ posed a possible threat to organic or native species.
‘‘Our worry is some super-plants are a risk to our native environment and landscapes,’’ Mr Pettigrew said.
‘‘We see genetically modified foods (as being) similar to cane toads purely because of the risk if they escaped into our native vegetation.’’
Mr Pettigrew said a GM plant’s advantage could be a hindrance if the need to control it arose.
‘‘If they are herbicide-resistant it reduces the way we can control them if they escape,’’ he said.
Victorian Farmers Federation grains group president Brett Hosking said the case was unfortunate for the farmers involved, who were once good friends.
‘‘Discussions on genetically modified foods have a lot of emotion, but we have to discuss the emotion along with the facts,’’ Mr Hosking said.
‘‘It’s an opportunity for organic regulators to look at their certification standards.’’
Mr Hosking said GM crops had scientific research and test procedures that proved they were safe for consumers, and people needed to remember GM crops had strict guidelines.
‘‘It goes before federal, state and sometimes government regulators,’’ he said.
He also said farmers who had chosen GM crops should respect their surrounds and be open with their community prior to planting.
Safe Food Foundation director Scott Kinnear said legislation needed to change.
‘‘State and federal governments have continuously stated that the solution to any GM contamination events is common law,’’ he said.
‘‘This has clearly failed and demonstrates that the law has not kept up with new technologies such as GM.’’
For more, see today's Country News.
A crowd watched on as a fire threatened three houses in Casey St, Tatura yesterday afternoon.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Two people have been arrested and thousands of dollars in drugs and property found in a major raid in Corop early Monday.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Members of a Cobram social group have encouraged women to become a part of community groups, committees and boards.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
ix industry and local government representatives, five water services committee members and two community members have been appointed to the new Connections Stakeholder Consultative Committee.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.