Genetically modified canola - contamination of crops

Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Tuesday, 15 February 2011]

Hon Lynn MacLaren; Hon Robyn McSweeney


20. Hon LYNN MacLAREN to the minister representing the Minister for Agriculture and Food:
(1) Is the minister aware that the Kojonup farmer whose farm was stripped of its organic status due to
genetically modified canola contamination already has legal fees amounting to $30 000?
(2) Will the government establish a fund to compensate farmers for the loss of their organic and non-GM
status due to GM contamination?
(3) Will the minister consider introducing farm protection legislation to ensure that the livelihoods of
organic and non-GM farmers are not threatened by the introduction of GM canola in Western Australia?

Hon ROBYN McSWEENEY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1) No. However, once the minister read the question, I presume he did realise.
(2)–(3) The 2005–06 independent review of the Gene Technology Act 2000 considered proposals to establish a
compensation fund and to introduce farmer protection legislation. The review concluded that a
mandatory compensation scheme and a strict liability regime should not be introduced into the act.