GENET archive


GMO-FREE REGIONS & PRODUCTS: Victorian Farmers Federation supportslifting of GE canola ban

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TITLE:  UDV members discuss GM
SOURCE: Victorian Farmers Federation, Australia
AUTHOR: Press Release
DATE:   21.05.2007

UDV members discuss GM

United Dairyfarmers of Victoria members are being invited to discuss
their views on Genetic Modification at a series of forums over the next

The forums are being held ahead of the 2007 UDV Conference on June 19,
at which delegates will be asked to consider their branches' views on
the use of biotechnology in the dairy industry.

The Conference will debate a motion that is on the table from the 2006
UDV conference, proposing that the UDV should support choice of GM
technology in the dairy industry.

UDV Central Councillor Nick Renyard said with the State Government's
moratorium on GM ending in February 2008, it was important that UDV
members clarified their position.

"The issue has been hotly debated at a number of UDV Conferences and
Central Council feels it's important to allow members the chance to
discuss the issue before the 2007 Conference," Mr Renyard said.

"The Australian Dairy Industry Council representing dairy producers,
processors and manufacturers has prepared a draft policy on GM.

"This policy was endorsed by the UDV Central Council in July 2006, and
the UDV is working to communicate the details of the ADIC draft policy
and information on GM to members ahead of the June 19 Conference.

"The ADIC policy advocates choice for consumers and industry, not a pro
or anti-GM stance," Mr Renyard said.

UDV members are invited to seven forums will be held throughout the
state starting in Cohuna and Shepparton on Monday 21, Wodonga on May 22,
Terang and Colac on May 24 and Traralgon and Leongatha on May 29.

Details on the forums and the draft policies are available at, in the events section or from the UDV office on 1300 882 833.

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                                 PART II
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TITLE:  Farmers welcome right to choose
SOURCE: Victorian Farmers Federation, Australia
AUTHOR: Press Release
DATE:   18.05.2007

Farmers welcome right to choose

Victorian farmers should have the right to choose whether or not they
use biotechnology in their farming systems.VFF President Simon Ramsay
said he was encouraged by reports the moratorium on GM canola may be
left to sunset in 2008. "Victoria's farmers need access to developments
in production technology if they are to remain competitive in the world
market place," Mr Ramsay said. Biotechnology is one aspect of new
agriculture developments that has the potential to deliver benefits to
farmers and consumers. There is a rigorous approval process in place
with the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) to prevent any
adverse effects, and providing this hurdle is met, individual farmers
must be able to choose to use new crop varieties." The moratorium was
put in place because of the threat of lost access to markets, however
these concerns have proved to be unfounded," The release last week of
the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE)
report last week stated there will be negligible effects on the organic
canola, livestock and honey markets. The VFF will engage in
consultations with the State Government in the lead up to the sunset of
the moratorium and as always will be seeking the views of members to
take forward.

Media Contact
Simon Ramsay, VFF President, 0418 344 794

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                                 PART III
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TITLE:  Vic dairy industry reconsiders GM opposition
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia
DATE:   23.05.2007

Vic dairy industry reconsiders GM opposition

The Victorian dairy industry is reconsidering its strident opposition to
genetically modified (GM) crops as the State Government plans to review
its GM ban. The Government has appointed an independent panel to
consider the moratorium, which is due to expire in February next year.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has developed its own draft
policy on GM feed and crops and policy director Robert Poole has not
ruled out supporting an end to the GM ban. "By definition that's what
the draft policy implies, that if farmer A is going to have the choice
to grow it and farmer B is going to have the choice not to, then as long
as there are enough safeguards in the system, as long as our companies
are working on our behalf to protect our markets, then we think all that
can work," he said. "If the farmers take a different view across the
board or the companies take a different view across the board, then that
policy won't get up."

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                                 PART IV
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TITLE:  Farmers want GM ban lifted, says VFF
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia
DATE:   23.05.2007

Farmers want GM ban lifted, says VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has renewed calls for the lifting
of a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) canola.

The four-year ban on planting the canola is due to expire in February
next year and the State Government has to decide whether to continue the

It has appointed an independent panel to look at the impact the ban has
on the state's trade and export opportunities. VFF president Simon
Ramsay says he believes GM canola is safe and most farmers want the ban
lifted. "I think there will be those that are still apprehensive about
the use and what it means to their traditional farming practices," he
said. "But for the future of farming and for the next generation of
farmers within our membership at least, we are hearing that they want
that choice to be able to use that technology." But Geoffrey Carraher,
from the Network of Concerned Farmers, says there are still plenty of
Victorian farmers opposed to GM food crops. He says he hopes the panel
set-up to review the moratorium is truly independent. "I hope that this
committee [is] able to listen to all views before they pass judgement on
it," he said. "I hope they are quite independent of the GM companies and
can listen to all parties that have put up information to them."

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                                 PART V
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TITLE:  GM cotton trials prove WA crop commercially viable
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia
DATE:   22.05.2007

GM cotton trials prove WA crop commercially viable

A decade of genetically modified (GM) cotton trials in Western
Australia's Ord Valley has shown the crop could be commercially viable
in the region. The study followed unsuccessful attempts to grow cotton
in the Kimberley in the 1970s, when crops were decimated by natural
pests. Cooperative Research Centre for Cotton spokesman Guy Roth says
the crop would work in the dry season for both WA and the Northern
Territory. "A novel production system has been proposed, based on
transgenic varieties to control the caterpillar pest and switching from
a summer wet season crop to a winter dry season system which relies on
integrated pest management rather than the use of insecticides," he
said. "We've had a number of different varieties trialled up there over
a long period of time and now we've been able to demonstrate that great
cotton yields can be grown up in that system." A moratorium on GM cotton
crops in WA will be reviewed next year.

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