Brumby and Baillieu fail on Genetic Manipulation policies

19 November 2010

ALP  government and Coalition responses to Gene Ethics' GM policy questionnaire for the state election show both are heavily committed to the adoption of GM crops and foods. In stark contrast, the Greens and Socialist Alliance back comprehensive GM-free policies.

"Brumby's and Baillieu's policies on genetically manipulated (GM) foods and crops are out of step with the valid concerns of most Victorians," says Gene Ethics Executive Director Bob Phelps.

"Their backing for GM ignores 20 years of public opinion survey results that consistently show most Australians reject the untested, unsafe and unwanted products of GM technology.

"It is particularly sad that the two old parties will not end the Premier's membership of the Washington-based Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO), which promotes GM around the world on behalf of the US government and its GM industry.

"BIO membership creates a conflict of interest at the top that compromises all official decisions on GM and helps propel the sell-off of Victorian assets and interests," he says.

"In contrast, the Greens back a new ban on commercial GM canola and other GM crops in our state and have excellent policies that envisage a positive future for clean, green GM-free farming.

"If the Greens GM-free stance on our survey questions turns into a positive response from electors on November 27, we expect GM policy to change for the better, whoever wins government."

"It's a real opportunity for voters to have a say and to influence policy for GM-free food and crops for the next decade.

"The only commitment from all parties was to increase funds for the development of sustainable farming systems - e.g. organic and GM-free - less dependent on declining stocks of oil and phosphates.

"With climate change looming out on farms, this promise must be fulfilled as soon as possible so that Victorian farmers can continue to manage the food bowl of the nation for this and future generations.

"Every Victorian can support parties in this state election that take a clear and strong stand for GM-free foods and farms, reflecting strong community sentiment," Mr Phelps concludes.

Download the GM-free scorecard

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