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Baillieu GM canola farm for sale in Melb suburb

29 October 2012

Premier Ted Baillieu's uncle, Marshall Baillieu, has his 'Minta' farm near Berwick on the market for housing subdivision. Baillieu grew genetically manipulated (GM) canola there in 2009.

 

"Roundup tolerant GM canola weeds may remain on the land. The Gene Technology Regulator confirms that canola seed may germinate for up to 16 years," says GM Cropwatch Coordinator, Jessica Harrison.

 

"We call on Marshall Baillieu to advise the new owners and for the state government to declare the whole of Gippsland a GM-free Zone as they are empowered to do.

 

"Monsanto's GM Technology User Agreement binds land-owners for 3 years to notify buyers that a GM crop was grown there. Monsanto also requires new owners to sign a stewardship agreement.

 

"The contract may have lapsed but Marshall Baillieu has a responsibility to tell potential land-buyers that GM canola was grown on his land and may still regrow for another decade.

 

"Baillieu's GM canola plantings created a storm of local protest in 2009 at the farm gate and in a community forum, as local farmers and residents were angry that the crop was so close to them and could contaminate farms and beehives.

 

"In WA, Tasmania and NSW, GM canola has been spilt on roadsides and spread to neighbouring farms, creating time-consuming and expensive cleanups and court cases that are still unresolved. (Read, for instance, about Tasmania's GM canola contamination and state government cleanup since 2004 at: http://www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/internnsf/WebPages/CART-6795X9?open )

 

"GM canola contamination is the subject of a major court case in WA as a farmer lost his valuable organic certification in 2010 when GM canola contamination blew onto his farm.

 

"Test strips to identify GM canola plants are available from GM Cropwatch, a Gene Ethics project, if new owners are concerned about GM canola weeds remaining on Baillieu's land," Ms Harrison concludes.

 

Comment

Jessica Harrison, GM Cropwatch Coordinator, Gene Ethics: 0407 307 231

 

References

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