Our Federal Minister for Agriculture, Peter McGauran, feels that state governments within our country are “holding back” from an opportunity in allowing genetically modified (GMO) canola crop cultivation. Australia currently cultivates around 20 per cent of the world’s canola, free of genetic modification.
I haven’t read the report, but GMO crops really concern me. They go way beyond the usual mutations sought in improving crops, which are more along the lines of selective breeding. Genetically Modified Organisms can have genes from an entirely different species introduced to produced desired results – so you could have plant genes in animals and vice versa.
Australia isn’t the only country resistant to GMO crops – Japan says that they’ll first watch a generation of American kids grow up consuming all that GMO “goodness”.. to see what happens to them.
Allowing GMO crops into this country is risky – there’s been cases where these crops have escaped and infected non GMO crops.. and environmental concerns aside, then the company that owns the patent on the GMO species sues the poor farmer for having it in his fields. Yes, companies can own a species! This is big business, huge – and the security of the world’s food supplies hangs in the balance.
Gene Ethics, an Australian organization, is asking Aussies to send a letter to local decision-makers as soon as possible in order to extend the GM crop ban until at least 2013 to ensure that GM-free and organic foods continue to be available without threat from Frankenstein-type species. Sample letters and some background on the issues can be found on their site.