Thursday, June 12, 2014

Doubt cast over safety of GM research centre in WA - ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Doubt cast over safety of GM research centre in WA - ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

One of the standout safety features at this facility is the vast bird netting over the five hectare GM trial zone, which is supposed to fully contain the crops and prevent insects and animals spreading any seed.
A storm in January this year caused the bird netting to come loose.
“It was just left hanging and all blowing around for months and months.”
‘Jill’ thinks there's a very real possibility that GM wheat, which isn't commercialised anywhere in the world, has escaped from the trial zone to neighbouring properties.
“The problem is, when protocol is breached and people are taking machinery in and out there is every chance that seed can release.
“This is what is particularly worrying about this situation that seed can get out in machinery; you can’t ever find every wheat seed.”
It’s embarrassing. The netting is down, the place is in disarray and they have no experienced staff.
'Jill', a member of the Merredin community
‘Jill’ isn't a farmer but she knows plenty of grain producers in the Wheatbelt who are relying on findings from these GM trials to have the option to grow new GM crops down the track.
She also thinks the alleged mismanagement at the research station will make the perfect ammunition for the anti-GM lobby.
“If the research into GM is compromised through mismanagement or lack of protocols being followed, then that would set the whole GM debate back years.
“We don’t want to give anti-GM lobby a chance to beat up something and stop vital research.”

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