Court ruling impact disastrous for non-GM farmers and their markets, say Greens

The Court of Appeals’ decision in the Steve Marsh case is a blow to everyone who stands against GM crops and the impact will be disastrous, according to Greens WA Spokesperson for Food and GMOs Lynn MacLaren MLC.

“This most recent decision proves that our State laws don’t protect non-GM farmers or their markets,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The vast majority of farmers are non-GM or organic so the impact on their industry will be incalculable. We need urgent law reform to provide the necessary wide-scale protection.

“This ruling comes at a time when the State Minister has said he intends to repeal the Genetically Modified Crop Free Areas Act by the end of the year.

“This Act is the last line of defence for consumers who want their products to be 100 per cent GM free.

“The State Government is heading down a slippery slope towards the widespread loss of our agricultural reputation as a clean, green and non-GM producer.

“Rather than weakening farmer protection we should be strengthening it.”

Ms MacLaren called on people to make their opposition to GM crops known by contacting the Premier directly with their concerns.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Agriculture Senator Rachel Siewert said the appeal loss for Steve Marsh would be a blow for non-GMO farmers across the nation.

“Today's appeal loss reiterates that the rights of non-GM farmers are not being protected, and the system needs to change,” Ms Siewert said.

“Non-GMO farmers such as Steve Marsh face significant financial impacts if their crops are contaminated. GM crops have not proven to be safe, nor have they been able to live up to the claims they can increase yields and reduce pesticide use.

"Serious concerns remain about the use of GM crops in Australia, the Greens have called for the reinstatement of the moratorium on GM crops in WA and changes to the laws governing liability and food labelling in order to protect the choices of farmers and consumers across the state.

Ms MacLaren and Senator Siewert congratulated Steve Marsh and his supporters for their work.

“They have carried a heavy burden for a number of years and their efforts will remain invaluable to the campaign for choice, transparency and protection for farmers, consumers and the environment," Senator Siewert concluded,” Senator Siewert said.