Fateful day for majority of WA farmers as controls abandoned on Genetically Modified Crops

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has today lamented the passing of the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Repeal Bill, calling it a sad day for GM-free farmers.

“Once again the government is choosing to put the commercial interests of a privileged few above those concerns of the majority of farmers who choose to be GM free," Ms MacLaren said.

"People are becoming increasingly conscious about the food they are eating.  We know that there are deep concerns among consumers about GM.

"Western Australians don't want a bar of it, nor do many consumers overseas.

“For farmers, the ill-fated Steve Marsh case shows that even now, when GM crops have been grown in limited quantities in WA, the Government has failed to prevent non GM crops being contaminated by GM.   

“Steve Marsh’s crops were contaminated. As a result, not only did Steve endure years of costly litigation, he has been denied compensation and will be forced to pay legal costs.

"The passing of this bill will now remove what little legal protection farmers were afforded against contamination."

Ms MacLaren said the Greens had fought long and hard to keep commercially cultivated GM crops out of Western Australia.

She said she was concerned about the altering of flora and the threat to native animals, the patenting and commercial control of life forms and the impact on the lucrative and clean, green image of the organic grower industry.