Greenpeace has been running a kept Australia GE free campaign for some time. The campaign should have got a boost over the last couple of weeks with findings of minuscule, but detectable quantities, of GM material in Australian canola. The material was first found in Victoria and more recently in WA. For some background on the origin of the GM material see a previous blog post here at http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/000741.html .
Greenpeace campaigner Jeremy Tager is claiming,
This is the most serious genetic contamination event that Australia has ever faced, … and the response from State Governments in the coming days will determine their commitment to upholding Australia’s GE free status.
But the reality is that while Greenpeace through their campaigning managed to get state governments to ban the commercial planting of GM canola in Australia, we are importing and eating a range of GM foods from overseas including canola – and of course there is the vegetable oil from locally grown GM cotton (cotton seed oil).
On Sunday Robyn Williams (ABC Radio, Ockham’s Razor) interviewed Craig Cormick from Biotechnology Australia who had the following comments,
According to the supermarket chains, although they are often on the receiving end of anti-GM campaigns about their foods, there has been little to no diminution in sales of those foods that are labelled as containing GM ingredients.
Could this be put down to consumers simply not being able to find the fact that the food has a GM ingredient on the label? Perhaps. But at the deli counter in Woolworth’s, all across Australia, there are usually two or three types of sliced chicken loaf that is clearly labelled ‘contains genetically modified soy’ on a plastic label, standing up by the meat. It is clear and prominent, and I make it a habit of always asking the person in the deli, wherever I travel, whether anybody comments or complains about the GM ingredients. Invariably I’m met with a blank look and the response that nobody seems fussed about it.
The complete transcript is here http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1430804.htm .
I reckon Greenpeace really needs a new campaign.