GENET archive


7-Business: Australian expert forum maps impediments to GM crops

                                  PART I
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TITLE:  Asian flour mills unlikely to take GM wheat
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
DATE:   25 Jul 2005

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Asian flour mills unlikely to take GM wheat

Asian flour mills say they are unlikely to buy Australian genetically-
modified (GM) wheat because it would affect their ability to sell to
their markets. They have given their views to a study on GM grains,
commissioned by Biotechnology Australia. Victorian consultant Peter
England has presented his findings on Asian attitudes to a conference in
Canberra. "The negatives for GM would be along the lines of loss of their
markets or long-term health issues," he said. "And the benefits they see
are either no benefits or flour yield improvements or quality of flours."

                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Expert Forum Maps Impediments to GM crops
SOURCE: Biotechnology Australia, Media Release 05/250
DATE:   22 Jul 2005

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Expert Forum Maps Impediments to GM crops

The main impediment to the introduction of new GM crops in Australia will
be market acceptance, according to an expert forum that met in Canberra
today. A majority of participants at the forum believe that research on
GM crops should continue.

Over 100 representatives from farmers' organisations, industry,
researchers and government met to discuss the introduction of two
hypothetical, but potentially real, GM crops: rust-resistant wheat and
lucerne that can grow in acid soils.

Organised by the Australian Government agency, Biotechnology Australia,
the forum aimed to map the views of those for and against the technology
and develop models that could be applied for the introduction of any
future GM crops.

According to Mr Craig Cormick, the Manager of Public Awareness for
Biotechnology, "The meeting also sought to improve the quality of debate
between the polarised extremes of attitudes that we see in relation to GM
crops. It was very worthwhile for all players to sit down and listen to
each other's points of view."

The meeting examined five hurdles for the two crops: segregation,
unintended presence, pollen drift, liability and market access, and
listened to speakers arguing for and against each topic.

"At the end of the meeting participants were asked to rate the hurdles,
and what the largest obstacles to commercialisation would be," Mr Cormick

For GM wheat participants considered the largest obstacle it had to face
was consumer acceptance, with only 13 per cent of the participants
believing end users would currently accept GM wheat. And for the GM
lucerne, 45 per cent of the participants felt end users would accept GM
lucerne, with the largest obstacle being unintended presence.

Participants at the forum represented most key agricultural players in
Australia, included state farmers federations, the CSIRO, the Australian
Wheat Board, the Network of Concerned Farmers, Australian Grain
Harvesters and several state governments.

A report on the forum will be produced. Participants welcomed the holding
of the forum and called for this type of dialogue to continue to assist
the GM debate in Australia.

For further information, contact: Craig Cormick, Manager of Public
Awareness, Biotechnology Australia. Ph: 0418-963914


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