Grain traders snub GM canola26 May 2011
European and Australian demand for GM-free grain is so strong that leading grain traders Elders-Toepfer and Glencore Grain have revealed they refuse to buy any genetically manipulated (GM) canola this year. And traders that buy GM will only pay up to $45/tonne less than for non-GM grain.
This market is a bonanza for the majority of Australian grain growers who wisely stayed with non-GM canola varieties. Ninety five per cent of Western Australia's canola was sold to Europe last year and strong demand is expected to continue, but only for non-GM - European shoppers have zero tolerance for GM canola.
Western Australia's Agriculture Minister Terry Redman has lifted the ban on GM canola for the first time, against the wishes of most farmers and shoppers. Unless he reimposes the GM ban, GM contamination and loss of our GM-free markets is inevitable.
Already one organic grower with GM canola contamination has been decertified. All non-GM growers and supply chains are at risk if Minister Redman persists with his crazy commitment to GM at any cost.
The law requires Minister Redman to protect markets for all farmers, not only those he has backed to plant GM varieties, without any rules or regulations. He has failed miserbaly and should resign. We gained favoured access to the European canola market in 1999 when Canada began to grow GM but now we are set to lose our competitive advantage if the Minister refuses to act.
GM canola segregation has failed everywhere it has been tried. After only one year of commercial GM canola in WA there is still time to become GM-free again, as the GM share of the crop was just 8%.
South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Northern Territory have retained their GM-free policies and other states should again ban polluting GM canola, for marketing reasons.
"It's insane to grow a GM crop that no-one in their right mind wants to eat," concludes Gene Ethics Director Bob Phelps.