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[genet-news] GMO-FREE REGIONS & REGULATION: Nannup Shire could be 15th Western Australian GM-free shire

                                  PART 1

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SOURCE: Donnybrook-Bridgetown Mail, Australia

AUTHOR: Nina Smith


DATE:   09.04.2009

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NANNUP could be the next in a long list of shires to declare itself GM free in the wake of the proposed lifting of the moratorium on GM crops in WA.

Currently 14 shires have declared themselves GM-free zones, including the Shire of Boyup Brook, which made its declaration on March 16, 2000. Then shire president Terry Ginnane said that the move was to prevent possible contamination of local crops. ?Although the declaration has no legal status, it is a reflection of the strong concerns the community has on the long term safety aspects of GMOs,? Mr Ginnane said at the time.

He also said that while the move would create a marketing advantage for local farmers and help to promote a clean green image, the council in no shape or form wished to interfere with the right of farmers to run their business within the laws of the land.

Current Boyup Brook Shire CEO Alan Lamb said he was under the impression that councillors favoured standing by the resolution. But the issue would be put to the next council meeting to officially confirm if councillors wished to stand by it or not.

Nannup residents presented a 143-signature petition to Nannup Shire Council on Thursday, March 26. calling for Nannup to declare itself GM-free.The petition stated that the signatories believe that genetically modified crops posed unacceptable risks to human health, to non-GM farming enterprises, to honey production and to the environment in the Shire of Nannup, as well as jeopardising Nannup?s clean green reputation and GM-free markets.

?We have not been assured that all parties involved in bringing GM crops and/or food into Western Australia ? including growers and patent holders ? will be held legally liable for any contamination incidents causing market and economic loss, health impacts or environmental damage associated with GM crops/food, and we do not want these crops here,? the petition.

It called on the Nannup Shire Council to join the Fremantle, Manjimup, Boyup Brook, Wagin, Wand-ering, Toodyay, Woodanilling, Goomalling, Williams, Plantagenet, Carnamah, Tammin and Serpentine-Jarrahdale shires in declaring Nannup a GM free cropping zone for at least the next five years. The signatures were collected in three and a half days.

Nannup Shire CEO Shane Collie said councillors would formally discuss the issue at their next meeting on April 23.The council had already looked at the issue informally. In terms of legalities, it wanted to make an informed decision.?It?s still a very hard one because we don?t know all the ins and outs ? we?re going to be putting as much information in front of the council as possible,? he said.

Mr Collie said that part of the council?s research would involve meeting Agriculture Minister Terry Redman.

                                  PART 2

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SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia



DATE:   09.04.2009

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The Greens and Labor have combined in the Upper House to block the WA Government?s trials of genetically modified canola. However the move was immediately overturned by the Agriculture Minister. In the Upper House Friday afternoon, the Greens, Labor and Independent MP Anthony Fels combined to block the Government?s planned trials of GM canola in the Wheatbelt. Greens MP Paul Llewellyn was claiming victory. ?From this moment on the canola trials have been stopped,? he said. However immediately after, the Agriculture Minister Terry Redman signed an exemption order effectively overturning the vote of the Upper House. ?The disallowance has no impact,? he said. ?There is now certainty for farmers who?ve put their names up to have these trials in WA. Mr Redman says he expects GM canola seeds will be planted within a fortnight. ?As the Minister I?m able to fill out an exemption order and sign an exemption order which I?ve done again,? he said. ?That will be gazetted as I understand 
 early next week thereby authorising those trials to go ahead once again.



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