NOTE: We've rarely come across such a spectacular volume of extravagant BS as that pumped out by the pro-GM lobby in Australia. Here Louise Sales takes apart some choice examples from an article about South Australia's "GM future".
[SALES] John Lush's comments are particularly ridiculous.
1. "If GM technology was already in place in Australia, the pain of last year's drought would not have been as great."
[SALES] Perhaps he'd like to explain why - since there are no commercially available drought resistant GE crops anywhere in the world.
2. Consumer acceptance of GM food will grow, he says.
[SALES] There is no evidence of this - consumer opposition is just as strong as ever and with good reason
3. "If you ask people whether they will eat GM food that is proven to be of benefit to the environment, through the use of less fertiliser, I believe the answer will probably be 'yes'," Mr Lush said.
[SALES] There are no GE crops anywhere in the world that use less fertiliser. In fact the majority of GE crops are herbicide tolerant which has only served to increase chemical use on farms.
Crunch-time for SA's GM future
By PAULA THOMPSON
SOURCE: extracted from Stock Journal, SA, July 19 2007
Crunch-time has come for the future of genetically modified crops (GM) in South Australia.
While many believe GMs will bring benefits, such as drought-tolerant crops, others, such as organic growers, are fearful of cross-contamination and the loss of Australia's clean-green image.
A review of SA's Genetically Modified Crops Management Act 2004, which states that GM food crops cannot be cultivated anywhere in the State, has started.
Submissions are being taken by the review, with a report to be prepared for the Genetically Modified Crop Advisory Committee.
The committee will then make recommendation to Agriculture Minister Rory McEwen.
Mallala farmer John Lush, a member of the Federal Government's Biotechnology Advisory Committee and president of the Food Science Futures Foundation, says great gains are to be made from GM technology.
"If a farmer has been successful over the past 10 to 20 years, in all probability a large percentage of that is due to science in food production," he said.
GM could offer benefits to crops such as heat stress resistance, salt tolerance, and more efficient water use.
"Other farmers around the world have already benefitted," he said.
"If you talk to farmers in Canada, they are a long way ahead of us.
"They are using GM technology to plant things like GM canola, which is putting them a long way ahead.
"If GM technology was already in place in Australia, the pain of last year's drought would not have been as great."
Consumer acceptance of GM food will grow, he says.
"If you ask people whether they will eat GM food that is proven to be of benefit to the environment, through the use of less fertiliser, I believe the answer will probably be 'yes'," Mr Lush said.
But Biological Farmers of Australia board member and GM spokesperson, Scott Kinnear, said too many risks would be involved in lifting the moratorium on GM crops.
More information: www.pir.sa.gov.au