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6-Regulation: South Australia delays decisions on GE canola

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                                  PART I
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TITLE:  Regulator seeks detail on GM crop plans
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
DATE:   Nov 14, 2002

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Regulator seeks detail on GM crop plans

The South Australian Agriculture Minister, Paul Holloway, says he has
written to two companies to ask them to delay any decision to grow genetically
modified (GM) canola in South Australia. Monsanto and Bayer Crop Science have
both applied to the Gene Technology Regulator for the commercial release of GM
canola. But regulator Sue Meek has delayed the application process, instead
seeking more information from the two companies. Mr Holloway has welcomed her
decision. "The decision by the Commonwealth Gene Technology Regulator, Dr
Meek, really supports the case we've been making," he said. "Namely, all the work
that's necessary before the commercial introduction of these crops hasn't
been completed and there's a lot of work that needs to be done before we can
even contemplate the commercial application of this technology."

                                  PART II
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SOURCE: Asia Pulse, edited and sent by Agnet, Canada
DATE:   Nov 8, 2002

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CANBERRA - Australian gene technology regulator Sue Meek was cited as saying
today she had decided to delay her consideration of applications from
Monsanto and Aventis Cropscience for GM canola, following delays in the compilation
of documents relating to the applications which, if approved, would be the
first GM food crops grown in Australia. Dr Meek, as the gene technology
regulator, has responsibility for all GM crops. She was further cited as saying
that until the technical documents were compiled, she would withhold her
determination on the two canola applications, adding in a statement that, "The crop
management plans, technical manuals and their relationship to the overarching
industry guidelines are all necessary for me to properly understand and
assess any risks to human health and safety and the environment from potential
commercial GM canola releases. Therefore, the preparation of the risk
assessment and risk management plans for these applications has been put on hold until
this documentation has been finalised and made available to my office for
analysis." Dr Meek was to have made her determination on the two applications
by early March. She said there was a high level of public interest in both GM
canola applications. She said the public would be notified when risk
assessment and risk management plans had been prepared and readied for release.

                                  PART III
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TITLE:  SAFF won't call for GMOs moratorium
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
DATE:   Nov 7, 2002

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SAFF won't call for GMOs moratorium

The South Australian Farmers Federation (SAFF) will not be calling for a
moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) despite results from a
survey on the issue. There was 80 per cent support for a moratorium, but SAFF
chief executive Carol Vincent says only 25 per cent of members responded.
However, she says SAFF will present the findings in its submission to the select
committee on GMOs, chaired by the Member for Mount Gambier, who earlier put
forward a bill for a moratorium.

The Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Caroline Schaefer, says she is
concerned that the Member for Mount Gambier and others have taken the survey results
as being indicative of the views of all South Australian farmers. She says
most farmers want more information about GMOs and marketing implications, and
she cannot see how that could be supplied without proper research, including
paddock trials.

Meanwhile, the Australian Local Government Association will call on the
federal and state governments to give councils power to declare local government
areas free of selected GMO crops. This follows a resolution put forward by a
Queensland council at the national local government assembly. Cooloola Shire
says the wishes of local communities are largely excluded under federal
regulations for GMOs.

                                  PART IV
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TITLE:  Beekeepers angry over GE trial
SOURCE: Australian Associated Press
DATE:   Nov 7, 2002

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Beekeepers angry over GE trial

Beekeepers and the Greens are angry that the state government has allowed a
genetically modified poppy trial to go ahead in northern Tasmania. In
announcing the trial by the CSIRO and Tasmanian Alkaloids, Primary Industries
Minister Bryan Green said the government had imposed some of the strictest
conditions for such research anywhere in the world. This was to protect Tasmania's
food marketing strategy, which relies heavily on its pure image. The conditions
include isolating the trial site and enclosing it with bird-proof netting.

But Tasmanian Beekeepers' Association president Shirley Stephens said its
recommendation for bee-proof netting had not been accepted. She said that while
commercial bees would not be in the area, wild bees could get through the
netting. Greens leader Peg Putt agreed, saying bees and other insects could
move the GM pollen to other areas. Moreover, the growing of a GM crop undermined
Tasmania's marketing image, whatever the conditions put on the trial, Ms
Putt said. The government imposed a moratorium on field trials - while leaving
the door open for special permission to be given - after regrowth from earlier
trials was discovered.


Hartmut Meyer       from Nov 11 - Nov 17
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