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WA's agriculture minister Terry Redman has extended the public consultation period on GE crops
WA's agriculture minister Terry Redman has extended the public consultation period on GE crops
Public concern forces extension of GE crops consultation

Greenpeace says the Agriculture Minister should take note of the overwhelming public concern and extend the review, suspiciously timed to report back on 24 December.

Take Action: make a submission to the review

Greenpeace called for an extension of the public submissions period regarding the review of legislation controlling the release of GE crops in Western Australia. People now have until September 11 to make their concerns known.

Greenpeace is calling for a genuinely open debate on GE crops. Last year, Mr Redman controversially announced large-scale field trials of GE canola 2 days before Christmas. A decision that was later blocked by the Upper House. The Minister then chose to overrule the Upper House’s decision and go ahead with the trials, making the announcement the day before Easter.

“We need a genuinely open debate on genetically engineered crops,” said Louise Sales, Genetic Engineering Campaigner with Greenpeace. “The introduction of GE crops would dramatically change the face of agriculture in Western Australia and the public has a right to have a say on the issue.”

In its submission to the Review, Greenpeace has highlighted that the reasons for the introduction of The Act, and the moratorium on GE crops, are stronger than ever and that the ban should stay in place.

Independent polling by Newspoll last year shows the majority of Australians are less likely to eat food if they know it contains GE ingredients. Similar attitudes exist in our key export markets Europe and Japan. During the past two years WA exports to the European Union have increased significantly, accounting for 90 per cent of exports. Canada has almost completely lost its canola exports to Europe as a result of adopting GE canola and WA stands to do the same if it allows the introduction of GE canola.

The level of public concern around GE food is hardly surprising, given that there have still been no long-term studies conducted on the health impacts of eating GE food. And those studies that have been conducted in animals give cause for concern. For example, when Monsanto fed GE Roundup Ready canola to rats (the same canola that Redman proposes be grown commercially next year), they showed a 12-16% increase in liver weight.

Take Action: make a submission to the review

Read more about the health concerns associated with GE foods.

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