Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Plotted Out

I love being an editor and writer, and I take the work I do very seriously. My decisions don't affect whole States or economies or greenhouse gas abatement targets, but I stand behind every one of my capitals, colons and commas.

Which is one of the many reasons I despise premier John Brumby; because his decisions have hugely negative ramifications; and because he is surprised when the people he affects want to hold him accountable.

One of these loathsome decisions has been not to disclose the location of the farms where genetically modified crops have been planted, (let alone ending the moratorium in the first place). If GM produce is so good for us, what have you got to hide, Mr Brumby?

Earlier this year, the Victorian government ended the 5-year ban on growing commercial GM canola. Soon the planted GM canola will flower and be harvested, which poses a huge contamination threat as GM seed and pollen can quickly transfer their genetically mutated traits to GM-free plants.

The 5-meter buffer zone between GM and non-GM crops is a joke. Many non-GM growers, apiarists, seed cleaners, harvesters, organic growers, food processors, local councils, the Municipal and Victorian Local Governance Associations, and many conscientious citizens asked Brumby for a public register of GM crop sites, but were told NO

As a public service, Executive Director of Gene Ethics, Bob Phelps, has printed a map on his website of the locations of GM canola in Victoria. The map shows farms where Monsanto's Roundup-tolerant GM canola is reportedly being grown or is intended for planting.

Mr Brumby, who once said he would have no problem growing GM crops, is now kicking up a fuss because his farm has also been listed on the map.

If you are happy to make decisions such as allowing untested GM crops to be planted in our soil, you need to stand your ground, Mr Brumby. You can bet that we'll be watching.

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