Australians are taking action to protect our daily bread. New Zealanders can join people all over Australia who are standing-up to protect our daily bread.
Genetically modified (GM) wheat has never been proven safe to eat. Yet politicians are about to sell a 'patent' on our daily bread to a handful of overseas biotech corporations. The federal government admits we will be eating GM bread by as soon as 2015.
All of Australia's major wheat export competitors, including North America, rejected GM wheat because of the risk it posed to their country's billion-dollar wheat trade. Wheat is Australia's largest export crop and contamination is inevitable if we allow GM wheat into the country, so why would we grow it here? In fact, Bayer's .2 billion GM rice contamination scandal started from the type of small-scale field trial currently being conducted on wheat in Australia.
Since the deregulation of the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) there has been no government agency looking after the interests of Australian wheat farmers. Foreign biotech corporations cannot be trusted with control of Australia's wheat industry.
There is also no legislation to protect individual farmers from contamination by GM wheat, or the costs imposed by the loss of important markets. One organic wheat farmer, Steve Marsh, has already lost his entire crop to GM contamination and has had no choice but to file legal action in a landmark case against his neighbour. It is completely irresponsible to introduce GM wheat to Australia when there is no legal framework to protect farmers and their communities.
GM has not been proven safe to eat. There have been no independent, long-term health studies on the impacts of eating GM. It is entirely unethical to make Australia the first place in the world to eat GM wheat and use Australian kids as guinea pigs. Wheat is a major staple food, and the risks of consuming large amounts of GM are completely unknown.
Please, stop GM wheat being grown in Australia and make sure overseas biotech companies don't patent our daily bread.
There is no long-term, independent evidence that GM crops are safe to eat, or that it can be contained in the field. GM wheat is a risk to our health, our natural biodiversity and to farmers' livelihoods.