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Rogue GM canola plants likely to be ‘tip of the iceberg’
Rogue genetically modified (GM) canola plants found in the Esperance region by a Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) ‘ citizen science’ survey probably represent “the tip of the iceberg” warned WA Greens spokesperson on GMOs, Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC today.
Ms MacLaren says “this study found canola growing along the main roads throughout the Esperance region. The chances are that rogue GM canola plants are already growing along roadsides all over the wheatbelt, posing a very real contamination threat for non-GM farmers.”
“In just one year of GM canola cropping, we have seen an organic farm contaminated, a major GM canola spill in Williams that has still not been properly cleaned up – and now we have evidence of GM canola growing on the roadside due to trucking. It is clear that GM canola cannot be contained.”
“I commend the team who worked diligently on this citizen science survey – a joint initiative of the Conservation Council of WA, Esperance LEAF and GM Cropwatch.”
“They have ‘stepped up’ while the Minister’s complacency puts WA grain growers’ markets at risk,” she said.
“Also at risk is biosecurity, as the GM genome is released into the general environment. We are on new ground here. The impacts of the release of genetically modified organisms into the WA environment are untested,” Ms MacLaren concluded.
According to the Government’s Ministerial GMO Industry Reference Group paper, the potential levels of GM contamination of non-GM crops in one year alone is estimated at 0.83% to 0.96% and it is predicted that these levels will exponentially increase with each growing season if GM volunteers are not controlled.