This will take one minute of your time, but could have an enormous impact on Australia’s food security. Even just reading about this issue is a step towards a more sustainable food industry for Australia.
Bob Mackley, pictured above, is a grain farmer from Western Victoria. In 2011, a flood washed genetically modified canola from a neighbouring farm onto his property. As a result, Bob incurred clean-up and operations costs at a time when he really didn’t need them. What’s worse, he could no longer sell his crop as GM-free as it was now contaminated.
Bob received no compensation for the contamination to his farm. As he says, “If my sheep got out and caused damage I’d have to take responsibility but there is no system in place to protect us from GM crops. This is the situation organic and conventional farmers face every day in Australia. There have been many GM contamination cases like mine around the country but most farmers don’t say anything – they just swallow it.”
One farmer who isn’t swallowing it is Steve Marsh, an organic farmer who lost certification after 70 percent of his land was allegedly contaminated by GM canola in Western Australia. Steve is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal expenses and risks losing everything because he believes it’s time to take a stand against GM farming.
Steve is one man, but there are countless others losing out to GM contamination. This is just one of many reasons GM crops do not belong in Australia – or anywhere for that matter. If you want to learn how to avoid them, see my post “How to avoid GMO foods in Australia“.
Bob says, “GM isn’t a solution, it’s just another problem, and a big one. The only way GM products are accepted by end users is if they are very cheap or hidden by unclear labeling. I want to be proud of what I produce and not have to resort to dodgy labeling to have it accepted by people. I also don’t wish to deal with companies that will not clearly state where their products are used.”
Bob, along with fellow farmers Fred Haskins from New South Wales and Janette Liddelow from Western Australia, are asking the Senate to hold an enquiry into the impacts of GM crops. It’s not a huge ask, but it’s a very important one. Please sign the petition today and join the thousands of Australians who have already supported our farmers in protecting their livelihoods.