GM Becomes Election Issue in Western Australia

The growing of genetically modified (GM) food crops is currently illegal in several Australian states including Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter has promised to continue the ban while the opposition Liberal Party says it will allow these crops if it wins the September 6 election.

Read more here: http://gmobelus.com/news.php?viewStory=124

37 Responses to GM Becomes Election Issue in Western Australia

  1. Ra August 27, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    Of course, the state labor governments banned GM crops because of the “science”. The science against GM crops was “settled”.

    You just got to laugh at the left. Their intellectual inconsistency is breath taking. In fact their inconsistency could actually be seen as consistent.

  2. Grendel August 27, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    I’m not opposed to genetic modification as a general approach to crop improvement, but I like to see a clear rationale for the modification – and real benefits to the productivity of the crop.

    The kinds of modifications currently being marketed are largely around resistance to herbicides and don’t necessarily ‘improve’ the plant itself in terms of yeild. Call me a cynic if you must, but both Bayer and Monsanto have poor histories when it comes to altruism.

  3. FDB August 27, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    180 degrees wrong there Ra – impressive.

    GM food/farming bans are usually argued on the basis of uncertainty about the science. Those making claims about scientific certitude are the GM proponents proclaiming them safe.

    Please note I’m not arguing for or against GM, so don’t bother going there.

    And state labour governments = left? LOL.

  4. FDB August 27, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    “The kinds of modifications currently being marketed are largely around resistance to herbicides and don’t necessarily ‘improve’ the plant itself in terms of yield.”

    More yield is more yield, isn’t it? The strategy is to use GM for whacky shit that can’t easily be bred in over generations. Most beneficial ‘natural’ characteristics of the plants we use have already been bred in – which leaves making them impervious to poisons, or making them produce their own insect repellent, pretty much the most productive areas for GM.

  5. Ra August 27, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    So Gendel, you’re the science expert now and you deem your reasons to be enough to continue the ban?

    Huh. Here’s me think the farmers should decide for themselves in determining if it is an economic proposition.

    GM food/farming bans are usually argued on the basis of uncertainty about the science.

    really? but who genius? Not the US government’s scientific authorities nor the EU’s. Which “science” are you referring to: the IPCC?

    Those making claims about scientific certitude are the GM proponents proclaiming them safe.

    Untrue, Einstein. The US FDA and its Euro equivalent think they are safe. But that’s not enough for you?

    Please note I’m not arguing for or against GM, so don’t bother going there.

    You’re not? You’re just being sarcastic then?

    And state labour governments = left? LOL.

    That’s right. They’re right wing left wing governments. LOL.

    Go away.

  6. Aaron Edmonds August 27, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Laughable the human race thinks this it can politic on this issue. Meanwhile grain stocks continue to plunge to levels not known to man since before the 2nd World War (around the 45 day level, down from 120 days in 2001).

    Recently the FAO reported that if everyone ate as Westerners, there are a mere 7 meals left in the world’s pantry today. Meat and dairy is quickly moving onto the dinner plates of the developing world.

    As a farmer, I see the need to adopt GM technologies as essential but not as essential as it is for the world’s consumers who are going to see less food produced, more of it going to the combustible engine and prices continue to march northwards in a devastatingly painful fashion.

    GM is not a silver bullet but it sure helps us remain equipped to meet the challenges ahead. Real big ones …

  7. Ra August 27, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    The GM crops issue alone should put AGW almarmist shysters like Professor Barry Brook out of business and on the Centrelink line…….The world just isn’t fair a times.

  8. Grendel August 27, 2008 at 3:11 pm #

    Wow Ra, talk about putting words into someone’s mouth. . .

    I didn’t address the issue of the ban at all – I’ll put my point a little more simply:

    Genetic Modification can be beneficial – the outcomes determine this.

    Big companies engaged in GM research may be doing so to make money (obvious since they are a business) but is that rationale the overriding one?

    If the genetic modification is made for the purpose of making money alone then I’d question its real value.

  9. Aaron Edmonds August 27, 2008 at 3:34 pm #

    “If the genetic modification is made for the purpose of making money alone then I’d question its real value.”

    Are you for real mate? People don’t get out of bed these days unless you pay them. Why should anyone apply transgenics to plant breeding if they can’t make a dollar or two? If multinationals are profiting, farmers are too and bellies are being filled!

  10. Ra August 27, 2008 at 4:09 pm #

    “Big companies engaged in GM research may be doing so to make money (obvious since they are a business) but is that rationale the overriding one?”

    tell me, when you take a pill to calm a headache, do you worry about the overriding rationale of the firm selling you those pills is to make money?

    How about when you’re at the butchers or the local fruit shop?

    guess what, scooter, maknig money by providing good service and decent goods IS a reasonable motivation.

    “If the genetic modification is made for the purpose of making money alone then I’d question its real value.”

    What an idiotic senselessly stupid comment.

    I rest my case with this moron.

  11. Demesure August 27, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    “If the genetic modification is made for the purpose of making money alone then I’d question its real value.”

    Grendel,
    A lot of academics research is devoted to GM, for example in rice or trees and big budgets are devoted to implementing methods to falicitate GM reproduction at farmers or cooperative scale.

    So your argument about “making money alone” is rather prejudiced. In India, more than 2/3 of GM crops, mostly Bt cotton and maize are illegally produced by locals who don’t pay a roupie to Syngenta or Monsanto. And I don’t even talk about China where intellectual propeties are as respected as dogs.

    So yes, GM companies are making money but relative to the effort, the skills and the added value for society, that’s small fish compared to hot-air multinationals like WWF, Greenpeace or Al Gore’s “Generation Investment”.

  12. J.Hansford. August 27, 2008 at 5:52 pm #

    Grendel said….”Call me a cynic if you must, but both Bayer and Monsanto have poor histories when it comes to altruism…”

    I would say they are maligned more than they are menacing.

    Be careful not to fall for the distortions generated by their detractors….

    If you invested 1000 dollars in Monsanto… What would you get?… Well you would get a return on your money, plus Monsanto would deliver a product that benefits Humans in someway. It’s their job.

    If you gave Greenpeace 1000 dollars….. You would get nothing and nothing is achieved. They take money and pretend to care.

    Greenpeace has produced nothing. It hasn’t even raised awareness, but simply elbowed their way to the front of a popular concern…. For five bucks we will stop environmental degradation, they screech in their adds…..

    Monsanto on the other hand simply works diligently and produces a product that will curb nutritional deficiencies for Asians who eat rice. Thus alleviating misery and raising living standards so that a whole community can expect to live long and healthily enough to worry about what sort of environment now surrounds them.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/08/04/world/main221973.shtml

    Greenpeace is a waste of time. Wasters in the truest sense of the word.

  13. J.Hansford. August 27, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    …. Anyway, It’s good to see the WA Lib’s have got some Political guts on the GM foods subject. Good on ’em.

  14. David W August 27, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    NO to GM.
    I dont have a problem with the science, and there are some exciting prospects coming from the GM camp. For example, wheat that is frost resistant or tolerant of high salinity /acidity.
    And this is why I hate it! It’s just another short cut. A band aid fix. It’s clearing away all the river red gums for a quick profit, it’s cutting edge science “of the day”. It’s daming all the rivers and releasing cane toads all over again. Agriculture cannot be trusted.

  15. Steve Short August 27, 2008 at 7:01 pm #

    “And this is why I hate it! It’s just another short cut. A band aid fix. It’s clearing away all the river red gums for a quick profit, it’s cutting edge science “of the day”. It’s daming (SIC) all the rivers and releasing cane toads all over again. Agriculture cannot be trusted.”

    And they claim Greenism isn’t obsessed with conspiracy theories (unlike the nasty’denialists’)…..choke, choke….

    It’s Woody Allen angsterism run amok!

  16. Ra August 27, 2008 at 7:12 pm #

    Couldn’t give a shit if you hate it not, David W. Really no one does. Your personal preferences shouldn’t dictate its legitimacy.

  17. David W August 27, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    Then put your head in the sand, and give the most powerful force of nature to farmers, who are dumb as dog shit and there you go

  18. Grendel August 27, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    Ra you need to read the comment, think about what you are reading and THEN reply.

    “If the genetic modification is made for the purpose of making money alone then I’d question its real value.”

    Do you buy a product just because you are told it is “new and improved”?

    Or do you buy a product because you are told it is better than a competing product?

    I would hope that you could answer “no” to both of those questions. If you are going to genetically modify a crop such as canola for the purpose of making it resistant to the herbicide that you also market (as Monstanto have done) then your aim is primarily to sell more of your products, both seed and chemical. There is a benefit of increased yields due to less competition from weeds but for many farmers the cost of the seed and Roundup mean that any financial gain from the increased yield can be marginal – or in a bad year there is a financial loss compared to the lesser cost of planting a non-GM crop.

    In a case such as this the purpose of the genetic modification is an inadequate justification for its use.

    If it was a genetic modification that allowed the crop to grow (as David W suggested) in saline soils, then the advantage is clear – you can grow a crop where you couldn’t before which provides an economic benefit beyond the GM company.

    Demesure – I’d recommend you spend some time speaking with Indian farmers about their life before you accuse them of theft – poor old Monsanto being ripped off by these guys eh?

    Rupee, by the way is the currency.

    Oh and David W – calling farmers “dumb as dog shit” is a poor reflection on your own intellectual capacity.

  19. David W August 27, 2008 at 8:44 pm #

    “If it was a genetic modification that allowed the crop to grow (as David W suggested) in saline soils, then the advantage is clear ”

    Dryland salinity is increasing at a staggering rate due to agriculture. If you think GM is going to fix this you are a wrong. Only planting trees back were they were (recharge area) to lower water table will help this national disgrace.
    However, once the soil gets the NaCl into it, it’s stuffed, millions of years are required to reverse it.

    There is no advantage, and it ignores the real issue. A band aid.

  20. Hasbeen August 27, 2008 at 10:26 pm #

    David, you should nip over to europe, & tell the Dutch that it will be millions of years before they can use all that reclaimed land. At pressent they don’t seem to understand, & are growing lots of stuff, before they should.

    On the way back, you could drop into Monsanto, for some GM treatment of your own. Any result would have to be an improvement, at least to your disposition.

    You are probably right about farmers being as dumb as dog shit, which is just as well, for you. If they were only a little less dumb, they would make sure that none of their production ever got to drop kiks like you.

    A few months of fasting, by you would go a long way to improving our geen pool.

  21. Andrew Apel August 28, 2008 at 5:02 am #

    There are a few misconceptions that need to be cleared up.

    First off, it costs up to US$200 million to conduct all the tests and other regulatory requirements before a GM crop comes on the market. That’s something only a multinational can afford, and it locks all the colleges, universities and smaller private companies completely out of the market. Monsanto, Syngenta and others would have competition springing up all over the place if were not for this single factor.

    Even so, the fact that these companies do what they do to make a profit is no better or worse than saying you have a job with the intention of having more money at the end of the day than you did at the beginning. Add to that the fact that these companies would be bankrupt from the regulatory costs alone if farmers didn’t find that these products boost *their* profits, too.

    In fact, that’s why so many farmers are willing to risk fines and jail to grow these crops, whether bootlegged, or in countries/regions where they are illegal. You can probably count on such infractions in Australia if GM isn’t approved everywhere.

    Also, it’s not good to argue about GM crops in a factual vacuum. David Tribe over at GMO Pundit,
    http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/
    has assembled what may well be the largest online collection of peer-reviewed, independent research on the safety and productivity of crops. When information like that is so easily available, hand-wringing about “unknown effects”, etc. is not well-taken.

  22. Demesure August 28, 2008 at 8:42 am #

    The irony is anti-GM activists are also systematically climate warmists. With GMs, they are spitting on the science and the overwhelming “consensus” of all international scientific bodies backed by > 100 Mha of planted GM crops worlwide that it’s safe and beneficial.

    A science consensus in one case is not worth anything but in the other case is proof that the “debate is over”. Go figure…

  23. David W August 28, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    “David, you should nip over to europe, & tell the Dutch that it will be millions of years before they can use all that reclaimed land”

    You think the situation in Dutch land, thailand, israel, etc is the same as australia?

    You are a retard.

  24. Steve Stip August 28, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    “A few months of fasting, by you would go a long way to improving our geen pool.” August

    Actually, a 30 -40 day fast would do most people a world of good.

  25. Steve Stip August 28, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    Let the farmers grow what they like. Just label it properly. Must Ra and I do all the thinking around here?

  26. FDB August 28, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    Considering Ra’s apparent inability to distinguish my comments from Grendel’s, Steve, and his/her tendency towards random abuse, I don’t envy you your thinking partner.

  27. Steve Stip August 28, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    But her abuse is funny. And she seems to have a sound libertarian head on her shoulders. I am assuming she is female. I admit I have not followed the arguments very closely so I can’t judge how well she distinguishes between opponents.
    I do admire the passion though.

  28. toby August 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    I seem to recall that they have modified tomatoes to grow in high salinity areas, and that within a few years the ground is once again useable for normal agriculture…..if true that seems like an excellent reason to use GM?

    Hasbeen, poignant post again.
    “A science consensus in one case is not worth anything but in the other case is proof that the “debate is over. Go figure…” it sure is ironic isnt it!? ( mind you to be fair they don t all feel like that, but the “greens” ceratinly do)

  29. Ra August 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    Fdb
    “Considering Ra’s apparent inability to distinguish my comments from Grendel’s, Steve, and his/her tendency towards random abuse, I don’t envy you your thinking partner.”

    Of course I can distinguish but why try to contrast one idiotic comment from another?

    Anyone who argues against GM crops but is for AGW mitigation does not understand the way the world works.

    It then simply becomes a religious issue which needs to be scorned and ridiculed.

  30. Aaron Edmonds August 29, 2008 at 2:01 am #

    Good to see some pro GM commentators out there. Its not like we have any say here folks. Without GM we would be looking at food prices considerably higher than where they are today and that doesn’t begin to impact on the individual until it begins to contribute to tanking stockmarkets, tanking house values and rising interest rates.

    David ooooohhh knuckle sandwich material …

  31. Steve Stip August 29, 2008 at 2:26 am #

    Man is an omnivore. Cajuns are an extreme example of this.

  32. Steve Stip August 29, 2008 at 2:27 am #

    Wait. No wonder you guys talk funny, this is an Australian site.

  33. Steve Stip August 29, 2008 at 2:45 am #

    I always assumed (and rightly so) that environmental scares were part of a socialist strategy to bring in socialism. But you guys are already socialist and the greenies still give you trouble? When will they be satisfied? Maybe you should just go all the way to Communism. Or would that satisfy them?

  34. gavin August 29, 2008 at 8:32 am #

    Mate: That’s just more bird droppings

  35. Steve Stip August 29, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    “Mate: That’s just more bird droppings” gavin

    How many countries is it that are divided by a common language?

  36. Steve Stip August 29, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    gavin,

    I apologize about my remarks about socialism. I was being playful but I can see how one might be offended. The ugly American strikes again. My own country is currently just about a fascist dictatorship with a loonys at the top so don’t feel too bad about whatever you got.

  37. FDB August 29, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    “Of course I can distinguish but why try to contrast one idiotic comment from another?

    Anyone who argues against GM crops but is for AGW mitigation does not understand the way the world works.

    It then simply becomes a religious issue which needs to be scorned and ridiculed.”

    Okay genius, I’ll make it nice and simple so you can’t possibly misread me, no matter how you furrow your brow and squint:

    I am not against GM.

    Supplementary point:

    You are an idiot.

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