WA farmers have responded to the call for evidence for a Parliamentary inquiry into GM contamination issues, including compensation for non-GM farmers economically impacted if their crop is contaminated.
“It is so important that farmers address this inquiry with their on-the-ground experiences, and I am very pleased they are doing this,” Greens agriculture spokesperson Diane Evers said .
“We are hearing from farmers that there is no guaranteed way to protect their canola from GM canola; they’re telling us how this can happen – either in the paddock or during harvesting and transportation – and the financial implications for them if it does happen.
“The large and mostly silent majority of canola farmers in WA farming non-GM canola are at risk of losing out financially if their crops are found to contain GM canola, so rather than expect them to carry that burden we need to look at how they can be compensated for losses that they themselves have done nothing to incur. Traditional canola farmers stand to lose up to 10% on the price paid per tonne for their canola if it is found to have GM canola in it.”
Ms Evers said farmers had to be brave to speak out, but their voices and input were invaluable.
“The GM industry receives considerable media coverage, and its proponents are very vocal. By contrast, rarely do we hear from the silent majority, the non-GM farmers. This inquiry is designed to give voice to those farmers,” she said.
She urged farmers to make their submission to the inquiry by Friday, February 16, noting that farmers can request the parliamentary committee treat their submission as confidential.