Call for GM in­quiry farm tour

Countryman - - FRONT PAGE -

The par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­gat­ing com­pen­sa­tion for crop con­tam­i­na­tion by ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied grain has come un­der fire for turn­ing down an in­vi­ta­tion to visit a “real farm” and har­vest seg­re­ga­tion fa­cil­i­ties at a CBH bin.

Coun­try­man un­der­stands WAFarm­ers, Pas­toral­ists and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion of WA and CBH in­vited the five-per­son group to tour a farm and CBH bin in March as part of the in­quiry hear­ings.

Each of the groups has spo­ken against the pro­posed com­pen­sa­tion scheme, which could come in the form of an ad­di­tional seed levy.

Former PGA grains com­mit­tee chair­man and Cun­derdin farmer John Snooke, who rep­re­sented PGA at the hear­ing, said he was dis­ap­pointed no mem­bers of the com­mit­tee had taken up the of­fer.

“The in­vi­ta­tion was ex­tended at the in­quiry . . . we just wanted to make it very clear that it is some­times dif­fi­cult to have con­ver­sa­tions around co-ex­is­tence pro­to­cols and the CBH seg­re­ga­tion sys­tem in the city,” he said.

“Es­sen­tially, how peo­ple who have no knowl­edge of these pro­cesses up­skill their knowl­edge is by go­ing to a farm and vis­it­ing CBH.

“If city-based politi­cians are mak­ing de­ci­sions and don’t have an un­der­stand­ing of those pro­cesses, then they are not in­formed.”

WAFarm­ers grains sec­tion pres­i­dent Dun­can Young and Mr Snooke said the of­fer to visit a grain farm still stood. CBH de­clined to com­ment, and La­bor MLC and com­mit­tee chair­man Matthew Swin­bourne would not com­ment on the record, say­ing the com­mit­tee ex­pected to de­liver its re­port early next year.

The in­quiry, trig­gered by a Food­Watch WA pe­ti­tion tabled by Greens MLC Diane Evers, is look­ing into com­pen­sa­tion mech­a­nisms for GM con­tam­i­na­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.