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[genet-news] APPROVALS & REGULATION: Western Australian Government announces GM Canola trial sites



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  GM CANOLA TRIAL SITES ANNOUNCED

SOURCE: Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food, Australia

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/aboutus/mr/mr150409.htm

DATE:   15.04.2009

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GM CANOLA TRIAL SITES ANNOUNCED

 

...........................................................................

read and hear more at:

A discussion held at the Crop Updates 2009 Conference [videos]

http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/content/FOOD/gmtrialsvideo.HTM

Overview of locations for the 2009 GM Canola Trial Program [table]

http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/content/fcp/co/handout_trial%20_locations.pdf

2009 GM Canola Trial Sites [map]

http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/content/fcp/co/GM_2009062_GM_CanolaTrials_ID.pdf

...........................................................................

 

Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman today announced the locations of the 20 genetically modified canola trials in Western Australia.

The locations comprise 17 farmer trials and three research trials, covering 854 hectares across the State.

Mr Redman said the trials would see three farmer sites at Cunderdin, two at Woogenellup and York, and single sites at Aldersyde, Beverley, Bulyee, Dudinin, Frankland River, Kendenup, Many Peaks, Mobrup, Quairading, South Stirling. The sites vary in size from 30 to 70 hectares.

?The research trial sites are located on Department of Agriculture and Food research facilities at Geraldton (8 hectares) and Esperance (15 ha) and on a farmer property at Wongan Hills (2 ha).

?One of the research trials will look at issues of glyphosate on wild radish and demonstrate the differences in weed management with the different herbicide technologies that might be available to farmers.

?The two other research sites at Geraldton and Esperance will be demonstrating the RR technology in different conditions and comparing the different herbicide tolerant systems available (such as RR, TT, Clearfield).?

The Minister said each farmer participating in the trials must have completed the CBH on-farm quality assurance Better Farm IQ program before they could commence planting the GM crop.

?Farmers have also undertaken the Monsanto Roundup Ready® canola stewardship program, completed crop management and resistance management plans and licensing documentation.

?They have completed the Department of Agriculture and Food application requirements for the trials and notified their neighbours of their intention to plant GM canola.?

Mr Redman said the Department of Agriculture and Food will be undertaking regular monitoring of the trials and will provide a report at the end of the season.

?CBH have nominated two receival points ? one at Mt Kokeby (between Beverley and Brookton) and the other at the Metro Grain Centre at Forrestfield.?

- ?The decision to allow small scale commercial GM canola trials tests that both GM and non-GM canola can be grown, transported, handled, and exported as separate grains.

- ?By allowing these trials to proceed, the State Government is taking a managed approach which allows research to resume into the use of GM technology while the supply chain is monitored,? he said.

Further information is available from the Department of Agriculture and Food?s website www.agric.wa.gov.au or for specific enquiries please email gmcrops@agric.wa.com.au



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  MAPS DETAIL GM FARMS

SOURCE: Perth Now, Australia

AUTHOR: Narelle Towie

URL:    http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,27574,25337647-2761,00.html

DATE:   15.04.2009

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MAPS DETAIL GM FARMS

A MAP detailing the location of farms involved in WA GM crop trials has been published, raising concerns opponents will vandalise plants to stop the process.

Farms taking part in WA?s first large-scale trial of genetically modified (GM) crops including Cunderdin, Woogenellup, York and Beverley, are now listed online, the Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman announced today. 

The locations comprise 17 farmer trials and three research trials, covering 854ha across the State. 

Mr Redman said the trials would see three farmer sites at Cunderdin, two at Woogenellup and York, and single sites at Aldersyde, Beverley, Bulyee, Dudinin, Frankland River, Kendenup, Many Peaks, Mobrup, Quairading and South Stirling. The sites vary in size from 30 to 70ha.

?The research trial sites are located on Department of Agriculture and Food research facilities at Geraldton (8ha) and Esperance (15ha) and on a farm property at Wongan Hills (2ha),? Mr Redman said. 

GM crops are grown from seeds which biotechnology companies have altered. 

Genes from plants, animals or bacteria are transferred into the modified commercial crop seeds such as canola, corn, soybean and cotton. These genes provide resistance to pests, diseases, weed killer, drought or frost. 

?One of the research trials will look at issues of glyphosate on wild radish and demonstrate the differences in weed management with the different herbicide technologies that might be available to farmers. 

?The two other research sites at Geraldton and Esperance will demonstrate the Roundup Ready technology in different conditions and comparing the different herbicide tolerant systems available (such as RR, TT, Clearfield).? 

The issue has polarised WA.

Opponents want WA to remain GM free fearing non-GM fields will be accidentally contaminated by pollen dispersed by the wind while those for the technology argue the State is falling behind in food science. 

In Britain, environmental vandals caused havoc on GM trial fields until the government was forced to secure farms and hide the location of trials. Some were moved abroad.

The Conservation Council?s chief executive Piers Verstegen has said there may be more than one activist group prepared to trash crops in WA.

Mr Redman said the Department of Agriculture and Food would be undertaking regular monitoring of the trials and provide a report at the end of the season. 

?The decision to allow small scale commercial GM canola trials tests that both GM and non-GM canola can be grown, transported, handled, and exported as separate grains,? he said. 

Grains are set to be handled at two receival points, one at Mt Kokeby (between Beverley and Brookton) and the other at the Metro Grain Centre at Forrestfield. 

?By allowing these trials to proceed, the State Government is taking a managed approach which allows research to resume into the use of GM technology while the supply chain is monitored,? Mr Redman said. 

He said participating farmers have completed crop management and resistance plans and licensing documentation. 

?They have completed the Department of Agriculture and Food application requirements for the trials and notified their neighbours of their intention to plant GM canola,? he said.



                                  PART 3

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TITLE:  WA GE CANOLA TRIALS TO GO AHEAD

SOURCE: Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Australia

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.truefood.org.au/newsandevents/?news=38

DATE:   15.04.2009

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WA GE CANOLA TRIALS TO GO AHEAD

The Western Australian Agriculture Minister Terry Redman has arrogantly decided to forge ahead with trials of genetically engineered (GE) canola in WA, despite the Greens and ALP attempting to disallow the trials.

The trials were sneakily announced by WA Agriculture Minister Terry Redman on 23 December. However, on 10 April a motion by the Greens to disallow the trials passed in the Upper House. Despite this result, Terry Redman has made a mockery of the democratic process by putting in a new exemption order to allow the trials. This time he made the announcement the day before Easter!

Ignoring the strong opposition to GE crops amongst both consumers and farmers, the Minister has chosen to pander to the interests of the biotechnology elite.

The trials now look set to go ahead, despite there being no legal framework in place to protect non-GE growers from any contamination caused by the trails.

However, the Minister has stated that he does not intend to allow trial cultivations of GE crops in a local government district that he knows has declared itself GE free. So, if you live in WA, now?s a great time to get your shire to go GE-free!

There are now at least 13 GE free shires in WA. These include the City Of Fremantle, Manjimup, Boyup Brook, Wagin, Wandering, Toodyay, Woodanilling, Goomalling, Williams, Plantagenet, Carnamah, Tammin and Serpentine-Jarrahdale. Please ensure that your shire is added to the list!

What you can do

Make your shire a GE-free zone! GeneEthics have a resource kit on how to make your council GE free on their website, as well as GE free zone posters and petitions. For a list of WA councillors and for more advice contact Janet Grogan: jan60gro@yahoo.com

<http://www.geneethics.org/resource>



                                  PART 4

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TITLE:  GM CANOLA TRIALS BLOCKED BY UPPER HOUSE

SOURCE: Paul Llewellyn, MP Western Australia, Australia

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.paul-llewellyn.net/node/229

DATE:   09.04.2009

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GM CANOLA TRIALS BLOCKED BY UPPER HOUSE

The Upper House today supported the motion by Greens MLC for the South West Region, Paul Llewellyn to block GM canola trials in Western Australia. ?This will give the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Terry Redman some breathing space to re-think his approach to GM crops trials,? Mr Llewellyn said. ?The arrangements that were proposed by the government simply did not offer an appropriate level of protection to the farmers involved in the trials, to non-GM farmers, or to consumers. ?GM growers were required to sign up to full responsibility and liability for the trials, even though the level of contamination risk is not properly understood. Meanwhile, there is no legal framework in place to ensure strict liability for damage to non-GM growers by the big companies that seek to profit from market domination in GM agriculture. ?These ill-conceived trials were in fact commercialisation by stealth. ?We will continue to work to ensure good and fair outcomes for the environment, con
 sumers and growers.?



                                  PART 5

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TITLE:  GM HANDLING PROCEDURES ?ALREADY IN PLACE?

SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia

AUTHOR: 

URL:    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/16/2544517.htm

DATE:   16.04.2009

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GM HANDLING PROCEDURES ?ALREADY IN PLACE?

A Western Australian grain handler says it is confident it can safely handle and transport genetically modified (GM) canola.

The State Government has announced trials of GM canola will occur on 17 farms across the wheatbelt and great southern regions.

There will also be three research centres at Geraldton, Esperance and Wongan Hills.

Cooperative Bulk Handling (CBH) has nominated Mount Kokeby, near Beverley, and the Metro Grain Centre at Forrestfield as its two receival points.

CBH?s Tim Collins says segregation procedures that ensure the separation of GM from non-GM crops are already in place.

?It?s very much business as usual for us, this first 12 months we?ll be keeping a very close eye on how we perform with the GM canola,? he said.

?It?s a trial, it?ll be reported on, so we?ll play our part in that but we?re not expecting this to be any different to any other segregation.?

Meanwhile, a market analyst has dismissed suggestions WA?s international image will suffer now the ban on GM canola has been lifted.

The Opposition says the trials will have a negative impact on the state?s ?clean, green? image.

However, Profarmer?s Richard Koch says that is unlikely to happen.

?Most of our major competitors have been using GM technology for many years,? he said.

?Some of our competitors have had 10-year jump on us in terms of that technology and they?ve increased their market share at our expense.?


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