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Australian Farmers Warn NZ Against GE

Published: Mon 6 Aug 2012 10:42 AM
Australian Farmers Warn NZ Against GE
What can we learn from the experience of our Australian neighbours about how the introduction of GE crops will affect our agricultural industry and New Zealand’s economy?
What are the better options available to New Zealand farmers?
Two Australian farmers are currently touring around New Zealand to talk with people about their experiences of GE crops grown in their regions. Their experiences will interest farmers, scientists, officials, politicians and the general public concerned with New Zealand’s agricultural and economic future.
Recently – we have started seeing organic and non-GE conventional farmers hit back by going to court. They are being proactive about maintaining their GE free status and access to markets that comes with that status. The two speakers in this GE tour have experienced first-hand the effects that the release of GE crops have had on their communities and businesses.
They will cover the issues of liability and co-existence for organic and non-GM farmers.
6 August -- Wellington
7 August -- Palmerston North, Hawkes Bay
8 August -- Bay of Plenty
9 August -- Waikato
10 August -- Auckland
11 August -- Northland
Julie Newman is the National Spokesperson for the Australian Network of Concerned Farmers, an alliance of Australian farmers lobbying for fair risk management to prevent non-GM farmers being adversely impacted by GE crops.
She has a strong agricultural background including being a delegate on the Western Australian Ministerial advisory committee for GM crops, Vice President of WA Farmers Grain Council for many years, and representing West Australia on the Grains Council of Australia policy council and seeds subcommittee.
Bob Mackley - is a non-organic canola farmer in Victoria. He is a strong community figure, a volunteer fire fighter and current President of his local brigade, and a Victorian Police endorsed Firearms Safety Instructor. He is a past District Council Chairman, member of the Victorian Farmers Federation.
His crops have been contaminated by his neighbour’s GE canola crops and he is very concerned about the impact of this on his business. He is also concerned about the impact of GE contamination on his fellow non-GE farmers businesses and on the divisive effect on community relationships.
With the pressure on to release the first GE crops in New Zealand, it’s time to examine what impact they could have on our clean, green economy and marketing advantage.
What can we learn from the experience of our Australian neighbours about how the introduction of GE crops will affect our agricultural industry and New Zealand’s economy?
ENDS

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