Organic growers protest against GM trials

PERTH — Organic growers from WA's south west mounted a silent protest on June 10 on the steps of the state parliament. They condemned the government's attempt to keep the locations of genetically modified (GM) canola trials secret.

Nannup organic grower and Socialist Alliance member Bee Winfield said: "We are appalled at how little information has been given to us about trials which are near our certified organic farms. We have been advised by the office of the agriculture minister that there are no buffer requirements for organic farms."

Farms close to the 20 trial sites, totalling 850 hectares, are exposed to possible drift from GM canola seeds and pollen. This could result in a loss of organic certification for growers.

Anti-GM campaigner Janet Grogan, who had helped organise a 1000-strong protest in October against the trials, said: "The WA government is not listening to farmers or consumers."

Winfield said the only action left to farmers would be to plough in the trial crops now to prevent contamination.

For more information about the campaign email Janet Grogan at jan60gro@yahoo.com.