GM canola trials come a cropper

Genetically modified canola crops in Victoria have performed no better than their non-genetically modified counterparts as Western Australia prepares to hold trials later this year.


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well, is it any wonder that the gm trials have gone sunnyside up. no body wanted it in the first place, they will not take notice of what has happened in Canada now will they.. they will learn the HARD WAY as per usual.

Excellent article thanks Heather. It has been circulated internationally via GM Watch.

What a disgrace! The politicians and "panel of experts" that enabled this toxic GM environmental and health harzard to be planted should be in jail right now!

Thank goodness our Government has had the sense to keep the Moritorium on G.M., or we would, like Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia, have farmers regretting the fact that they, also had been seduced by a greedy company which has already ruined organic growers in its own country, by taking advantage of the greed and ignorance of those who want wealth at the expense of reason, only to find that they can no longer save seed from year to year, having to purchase it at a higher cost than that of organic grain

It isn't the GM aspect which will improve yields - rather it is standard breeding techniques which have been carried out for years. It's far better for all concerned that Western Australian crops remain non-GM (and Victoria reverts), with effort returned to standard breeding techniques for yield and other special developments. GM just diverts investment from where it's needed.

GM Canola: no evidence it is safe to eat; no economic benefit to farmers: what a con!

South Gippsland
A 17% yield penalty on GM canola compared with the national average for non-GM canola was predicted long ago on the Network of Concerned Farmers' website. Sir Gus Nossal and the rest of the so-called panel of experts ignored that and claimed there was no economic reason why the moratorium on GM canola should remain in Victoria. The fruits of that decision: a 17% yield penalty on GM canola for those who tried it out. Cowling can dream as much as he wishes, but why would anyone pay a premium for seed, an end point royalty, and put up with a low yield, on the strength of a promise that future crops "may achieve more impressive yield results". The GM experiment in Victoria was all about giving farmers choice. For the sake of choice, non-GM agriculture, canola-dependent agriculture and canola-dependent food manufacture, had to be put at risk of losing their premiums, losing their markets. Hopefully the farmers who made that choice will now see that it wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Hopefully they will be easily able to grow a different cereal for the next 10 - 25 years whilst low-yielding GM canola volunteers are eliminated on their land. We don't want those genes contaminating the canola crop permanently.

margaret river
For those of us who have been researching GM crops for sometime these results are not surprising. The Canadian farmers have said the same. All GM crops are shown to decrease in yields over time so this would be the high point for GM canola and it would be down hill from here. Recent studies at Kansas University showed lower yields for soy and cotton. who would want to eat the stuff at any rate when you read of the pre cancerous growths, smaller organs, depressed immune systems in rats and mice fed GM. The only people to benefit from these crops are the biotech companies and the people they share their largesse with.

Kojonup WA
The weeds are not a problem unless the seeds are contaminated with weed seeds. Now guess who would benefit from contaminated seeds ?

Mount Richon
I'll follow on from what Madeleine has said and say, don't forget the soil. Over the past century, the effects of long term soil erosion were masked by bringing new land under cultivation and by developing fertilizers, pesticides and crop varieties to compensate for declining soil productivity. However such agrotech fixes become progressively more difficult to maintain because crop yields decline exponentially as soil thins.

GM opponents are not at all surprised at these findings. Plant geneticists and ecologists around the world have been saying for years that inserted foreign DNA requires energy to be diverted from other plant processes to sustain it. Made worse, the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus "promoter" sequence present in most GM plants act like a light switch permanently turned on 24/7 and not regulated by the host plant, diverting precious energy. The overall physiology of the plant is impacted when we assume that genes are leggo blocks that we can control. It appears that these recent independent trials have confirmed this.

This article talks of yields, but what about sales? Thanks to this environmentally toxic rubbish being foisted on us Australians I simply boycott everything with Canola in it now because no-one can quickly prove to me it's GM free. I'm not going to waste my time trying to find out either as you either encounter people who don't have a clue or spin doctors. I'm becoming more agressive with fish shops etc too, if they are using canola or cottonseed oil, the food could be GM contaminated.

Quite frankly, I am totally fed up hearing how GE will literally save the world. The truth of the matter is, GE is not an exact science like it is claimed to be. Cutting and pasting genes is really hit and miss. We are reliant on the scientist extracting the gene with the characteristics required and then inserting this into a host gene. They really don’t know how this gene will behave in the new host cell or what damage is being done to the DNA in the process. It really is hit and miss. To add to this, there is no stopping the spread of the GE once it is planted. It is literally being forced upon us! Where is the freedom of choice we talk about? I refuse to be part of some experiment. This is wrong. Who will protect the organic industry and my rights to choose organic food, which I currently enjoy? We are allowing the biotech industry to gain control of the worlds’ food supply. This is for no apparent reason, the latest reports on crop yields are dismal in comparison to the promises! The reason is hidden agendas, pretty obvious. The problems are just beginning!

Monsanto has lied to us. Amazing! INDEPENDANT TRIALS finally show that Julie Newman was absolutely correct, there would be no increase in yield and the roundup ready system is nowhere near as good as the non gm canola varieties and techniques we already had. High Five Julie! Thankyou for your 10 year battle trying to expose this scam. Can we keep WA GM free NOW Terry Redman? And make every effort to clean up the contamination in NSW and Victoria, before it gets into the foodchain and causes the kind of damage to people thats been shown in lab rats. I agree with Ian Yaretsky, make the protagonists stand trial for everything they've done .

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