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6-Regulation: 5-year-moratorium on GE research demanded in South Australia



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TITLE:  Proposed Bill on GM research attacked
SOURCE: The Advertiser, Australia, by Sean Fewster
        http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,
        4711217%255E2682,00.html
DATE:   July 16, 2002

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


Proposed Bill on GM research attacked

A PROPOSED Bill ignores Adelaide's top scientists and would base the future 
of genetically-modified farming on hotly disputed information, researchers 
claim. Democrats MLC Ian Gilfillan is set to table a Bill today calling for 
a five-year moratorium on GM research. But in a statement to be issued 
today, the Adelaide-based Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed 
Management and the CRC for Molecular Plant Biology say the Bill is not 
based on the latest data, but on disputed claims by Canadian farmer Percy 
Schmeiser.

Mr Schmeiser - who addressed a group of state politicians last week - was 
sued by GM company Monsanto in the 1990s for growing their GM canola on his 
land without permission. His claims the seed was deposited on his land by 
natural pollen movement were not accepted by the court - a ruling he is 
fighting.

"Adelaide has built a strong international reputation in agricultural 
science and biotechnology," the scientists say in their statement. "But 
some of our local politicians prefer to take their advice from questionable 
overseas lobbyists." They point to a recent Adelaide study, published in 
the journal Science, which found only nine GM seeds in every 100,000 are 
transferred by wind on to organic farms - far below international safety 
levels.

Australian Weed Management chief executive Dr Rick Roush said he sent Mr 
Gilfillan an e-mail on July 1 that raised concerns about Mr Schmeiser's 
credibility. "The legislation is ill-conceived - we believe that policy 
should be made on the basis of facts . . ." Dr Roush said. Professor Peter 
Langridge, of the CRC for Molecular Plant Biology, said negative attitudes 
to GM were "scare-mongering". Their stance has been supported by the SA 
Farmers Federation. Mr Gilfillan did not return calls yesterday.



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