There is market demand to stay GM-free

May 19, 2007 at 1:26 pm Leave a comment

Any submissions to the Victorian government about the bans on GM must be on marketing grounds only. There is absolutely no question that on market grounds alone the bans should stay in place:

  • (a) In polls taken by AC Neilson, Roy Morgan, Millward Brown, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Swinburne University and Choice magazine a majority of Australians did not want to eat GM foods.
  • (b) No public poll taken to date has shown a mainstream market acceptance of biotech food in Australia or overseas.
  • (c) 80% of farmers surveyed in a 2002 poll taken by the SA Farmers Federation support a ban on GM food crops.
  • In a 2007 Sydney Morning Herald poll, 84 per cent of respondents don’t want it.
  • (d) In an August 2003 Biotechnology Australia poll 74% of farmers surveyed were not considering using GM crops.
  • (e) A Biotechnology Australia 2006 study found that “The Australian public see great risks from GM foods and crops and concerns are continuing to rise.”
  • (f) On Sunday, April 4 2004, the ABC reported there was ‘no market’ for GM canola in Australia. Processors will not buy GM canola because “customers are not interested in buying GM product”.
  • (g) The market will not bear the added costs of the necessary GM segregation that farmers, traders and shoppers demand. A report by DFAT’s David Morgan and Gavin Goh said:
      • “a number of studies, including by the European Commission, have also estimated that the cost of such segregation and identity preservation systems would be significant. Estimates of the increase in farm-gate prices range from 6-17 per cent. Given the higher costs associated with GM food, GM product-tracing requirements could have the effect of discouraging traders and processors from trading or using GM foods.”
  • (h) Worldwide, the market is withdrawing from GM. The European Union is currently discussing the official withdrawal by the biotech industry of five GM foods and crops: maize Bt176 (Syngenta); oilseed rape Ms1xRf1 (Bayer); oilseed rape Ms1xRf2 (Bayer); oilseed rape Topas 19/2 (Bayer); and maize GA21xMON810 (Monsanto). Even as they were being withdrawn, European taxpayers paid for disputes between these companies and the markets that refused them.

In a democracy and in a market, this clear message from shoppers, traders, processors and citizens must be followed. If the GM bans are on marketing grounds only, the market is telling the government it rejects GM food crops outright.

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Entry filed under: Australian public rejects GM, Market for GM.

Overseas markets say no to GM Media briefing by pro-GM scientists

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