Australia shuns GM canola in response to consumer demand for non-GMO products

Wednesday, June 01, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: GM canola, Australia, health news

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(NaturalNews) The biotechnology industry and its lackeys in the US government may be getting away with pulling a fast one on the American people, but citizens across Europe and in Australia continue to resist the onslaught of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in their food supply. A recent report from Gene Ethics Media (GEM) explains that two of Australia's largest grain traders are refusing to deal with any GM canola this year, citing intense and increasing consumer opposition to GM grains.

Europeans import much of their canola from Australia, a country that for years had unilaterally held a non-GMO policy for canola. After all, virtually nobody from the countries to whom Australia exports its grains wants GM canola, and this has naturally created market conditions in which canola growers have voluntarily chosen to stick with non-GM and organic varieties.

"This market is a bonanza for the majority of Australian grain growers who wisely stayed with non-GM canola varieties," said Bob Phelps, Director of GEM. "Ninety-five percent of Western Australia's canola sold to Europe last year and strong demand is expected to continue, but only for non-GM. European shoppers have zero tolerance for GM canola."

Most Australian states currently have a ban on GM canola, with the major exception of Western Australia (WA). Terry Redman, Agriculture Minister of WA, recently lifted the ban on GM canola, despite the fact that nearly all farmers and shoppers oppose the crop. Redman, of course, also tried to dilute organic standards in Australia after it was found out that a GM canola crop field had contaminated an organic crop field, which caused the organic farmer to lose his organic certification status (

Phelps is urging all Australian states to maintain or retain their non-GMO statuses because there is no effective way to prevent non-GMO and organic crops from being contaminated by GMOs -- they simply cannot coexist together. But states like WA will have to make that decision now, and completely block all future GM plantings.

"GM canola segregation has failed everywhere it has been tried. After only one year of commercial GM canola in WA there is still time to become GM-free again," said Phelps. "South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Northern Territory have retained their GM-free policies and other states should again ban polluting GM canola, for marketing reasons. It's insane to grow a GM crop that no one in their right mind wants to eat."

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