The decision by two states to grow and harvest GM canola harms Australia’s reputation as a food producer, and goes against the wishes of leaders in the food industry like Goodman Fielder. The Federal government should intervene to halt re-planting of the crops to protect the integrity of Australia’s food system.GM-free canola already commands a premium in the market. Growing GM-canola is an economic threat, not least because of consumer demand for GM-free, safe clean food. The decision to break a moratorium on GM food crops comes at a cost to Australia as a nation and brand, and only serves the interests of specific sectors.
“To grow GM versions of this prolific crop is to almost guarantee contamination incidents will occur, sabotaging Australia’s image at home and abroad,” says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ In food and environment.
For economic reasons alone the government must halt further crops to prevent contamination of Brand Australia, not just the supply of canola. In terms of marketing, the harm done to Australia’s positioning as a food producer must not be underestimated. When consumers do not want GM canola, and major Australian companies demand GM-free supplies, the crop is undermining the country’s gold-standard in quality.