GENETIC MODIFICATION

  • The Greens (WA) oppose transgenic and animal genetic engineering and the release into the environment of genetically engineered micro-organisms.  The genetic engineering industry has failed to demonstrate that it is operating safely and ethically in these areas.
  • Genetic engineering offers the potential for enormous good and enormous harm and therefore should be treated with caution.
  • The Greens (WA) support human biomedical genetic engineering research that is conducted in accordance with scientific principles and appropriate ethical principles.
  • The Greens (WA) oppose the commercialisation of the human body.

Aims

The Greens (WA) want:

  • the principle of 'unsafe until proven otherwise' to be applied to the release of genetically altered organisms into the environment
  • independent research carried out under appropriate conditions of safety for those involved and for the public and biosphere at large
  • no adverse impact on non-GE producers or consumers
  • no approval of the patenting of life forms

Measures
The Greens (WA) will encourage and support legislation and actions that:

  • reinstate Western Australia’s moratorium on GM crops
  • introduce mandatory notification, assessment, licensing and monitoring of all genetic engineering proposals, including strict environmental impact assessment by an independent scientific panel
  • support genetic testing for defined and serious diseases
  • oppose genetic testing for other characteristics including cosmetic characteristics
  • make results of genetic tests available only to the individuals concerned or their parents or guardians unless with the informed consent of those individuals/parents/guardians
  • prevent access to work or health care cover or services being denied on the basis of genetic information relating to the future likelihood of disease or disability
  • encourage alternatives to genetically modified herbicide resistance in plants as it encourages the continued use of pesticides and herbicides.  This is ecologically damaging, and can create weeds, insects and viruses which are resistant to known controls (see also The Greens (WA) Agriculture policy)
  • resist monopolisation of seed sources or animal breeding stocks by a limited number of multinational corporations
  • work with governments to protect traditional sources and supply of plant and animal species and varieties, to maintain national seed stock reserves of plant and animal species, and to actively support market access to these reserves
  • ensure protections against adverse impacts of genetic engineering are properly monitored and any breaches prosecuted with appropriate and effective penalties
  • support the principle of non-patentability of gene nucleotide sequences, coding or non-coding, from the genomes of all organisms including the human organism
  • support the patenting of adequately defined products or processes resulting from research on specific gene sequences if they derive from true inventiveness or from suitably described applications of proven originality
  • ensure that patents should be for as short a period as possible, with an upper limit of 17 years
  • support the concept of compulsory licensing if a patent has been granted for three years and the patent holder has unreasonably refused to grant a licence, thus preventing the progress of legitimate research and development on a patented invention
  • ensure that all foods are clearly labelled to indicate any GM content.  Any other product with GM content must also be labelled (see also The Greens (WA) Food policy)

(See also the Australian Greens Genetically Manipulated Organisms policy)

Authorised by Lynn MacLaren © 2017

Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC - Member for South Metropolitan Region (2009-2017)
Legislative Council, Parliament of Western Australia