Greenies loss, common sense win

The anti Geneticall Modified (GM)crops mob in Western Australia have been dealt a blow in a recent Supreme Court ruling when a farmer took his neighbour to court over GM contamination. The West Australian Supreme Court ruled that Mr Baxter did nothing wrong when genetically modified canola from his property blew over Mr Marsh’s farm. In fact, the court found, it was a decision by regulators to strip Mr Marsh’s farm of its organic status after the alleged contamination that was not right.
Farmng groups immediately said the finding would bring certainty  to the GM crops sector as it seeks to ramp up production to meet the growing demand from Asia.
Judge Kenneth Martin found Mr Baxter had grown a legal crop, used orthodox harvesting methods and could not be held responsible for an “unjustifiable” decision to revoke Mr Marsh’s organic certification. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this hatred of GM crops.  In effect virtually everything we consume has been genetically modified.  The crops the ancient Egyptian grew have no similarity with what we have today.  All food stuff has been genetically modified over the centuries as farmers select better plants for a better yield and a better style of beast for better grain conversion factor. Today, with advanced science, we simply do it quicker. Don’t get me wrong.  I have no worries about organic food but that is based more on the fact that it is grown chemical free, not that it hasn’t been modified. To feed an ever increasing world population we simly need better crops and genetic modification provides us with exactly that.    


  • Greens hate people. GM crops allow us to feed more people, and, by feeding more people, particularly brown people, will remove millions of them from the paternalistic racism that the greens practice to make them feel better about themselves.

    By green standards, GM is as bad as it gets.

  • I’m just an average joe from the city so have no expertise or agenda on GM crops, but I do have some thoughts on this topic, if I may.

    I think as a general principle, GM crops will be our future for the reason you mention about needing to feed more people. Crops are as good as they are today because of thousands of years of man cultivating varieties specifically to improve crop outcomes, as you say.

    My biggest fear is those GM crops that are designed to ensure they produce infertile seeds (so you need to go to the manufacturer to buy the seeds each season). I worry about some calamity in the future that prevents – even if just for a season or part of a season – a farmer getting the seeds supplied. Could my family go hungry as a result? What do you think? Are deliberately infertile seeds from GM crops common, or am I worried for nothing?

    My other fear is more emotional than logical. While farmers over thousands of years did their own form of GM, the modern science is far more powerful. They put other creatures DNA (I hear) like frog DNA into the crops. Apparently it’s harmless to humans, so logically I shouldn’t worry, but emotionally it sounds icky and I wouldn’t want to buy food that had stuff like that done to it. These are things that farmers of old never did (couldn’t do), so I trust the GM methods of the old days, but less trusting of the modern scientists.

    On the other hand, they can even make food a different colour (even glow in the dark I read!). If they could modify wheat for example so it was always pure white then this could be a good thing to me as an average joe, because it would mean my food needs less processing and chemicals to take it from the raw harvest to my dinner table.

    In conclusion, I guess I trust the farmers to do the right thing by our food. The passion farmers have for toiling the land and pride in their produce I can only admire from my city lifestyle. But I don’t trust foreign multinationals full of scientists who are detached from the land with pride in their profits. If only the farmers where the owners of the GM companies, we’d all feel safe!!

    Thank you for letting me post to your blog.

  • You hear a lot about the evil GM companies plotting to take over food supplies etc etc, largely conspiracy nut nonsense that gets bigger with repetition. It is worth noting that patents on GM crops expire like all other patents.
    Monsanto, for example has never sold “sterile seeds” and has committed to never do so, so if some other GM company chooses to do so (I’m not convinced any have), then the customer can choose to buy fertile GM seed from Monsanto if they wish.

    Oddly, you hardly ever hear about this sort of thing –

  • a quick clarification to my last, Monsanto own the patent to terminator (sterile) seeds. they have never sold them and have committed to never sell them.
    Until the patent expires terminator seeds cannot be sold by another company – the whole “GM companies sell sterile seeds” is an urban myth at best, but more likely a lie spread by anti GM zealots.
    It is also worth noting that almost no farmers use their own seeds to plant the following season – specialist seed companies have been providing that seed since long before GM crops existed.

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