The Greens have reiterated their support for farmers who choose not to grow GM crops in Western Australia, with Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren speaking against a motion to lift GM controls in Parliament yesterday. The Nationals’ motion called for repeal of the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act 2003.
“It should come as no surprise that we oppose this motion, but the fact is that some farmers do not want to grow genetically modified crops,” Ms MacLaren said.
“It is true that we need to update our genetically modified crops laws; first we need to set in place a law that protects farmers who do not want to grow GM crops.
“The judges made a split decision in the recent March versus Baxter court case, which provides the proof that even at the highest levels of law, the GM debate is still unsettled.
“It shows that in spite of what the minister said in answer to my question the other day, the common law will never be able to help farmers who find themselves the victims of GM contamination.
“It is true that Western Australia has a good reputation as a clean and green, non-GM producer. I would not want to risk that reputation by loosening any control that we might already have.
“Rather than weakening farmer protection, we really should be strengthening it. We need to have confidence in investment and development in agriculture by strengthening our regulations around GMO.”