What have Greenpeace done today?
Greenpeace activists have taken non-violent direct action
- THIS IS VIOLENT DIRECT ACTION
The Australian Government has refused to protect Australians from harm caused by the release of unsafe genetically modified wheat. GM organisms are living organisms that can multiply and cross-breed. They pose a threat of irreversible damage to Australia’s environment and our food supply. Greenpeace has taken action to prevent contamination of our food supply and environment.
Why is Greenpeace opposing research – isn’t research necessary to test the impact of GM?
Greenpeace does not oppose safe research; we oppose open, risky experiments with something as fundamental as our food and the environment we depend on for life. Greenpeace does not oppose GM research in the lab, but we do oppose experiments known as ‘GM field trials’. These ‘GM field trials’ involve open, genetic experiments in the environment.
Greenpeace opposes field trials of GM organisms as the risks from such open experiments cannot be contained. The many incidents of contamination of the food chain with GM arising from field trials (e.g. the case of the experimental GM rice LL601, which had not undergone any prior assessment for its safety for feed, food or environment)* provide a clear illustration of the wider risk to the environment and society.
GM field trials cannot be justified on the basis that they support impact assessment as the impacts are then already real, potentially widespread and may be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.
- BUT ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL IMPACT IS CARRIED OUT BY THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY OGTR PRIOR TO THE TRIAL GOING AHEAD. THAT IS THEIR LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY. GREENPEACE DO NOT HAVE THE EXPERTISE VESTED IN THE OGTR AGENCY
Greenpeace’s work is targeting the release of unsafe GM wheat into our food supply.
- ON GREENPEACE'S SAY SO. THEY ARE SCIENTIFICALLY INCOMPETANT AND THE OGTR HAVE ALREADY ASSESSESED THESE TRIALS
- THE OGTR ASSESSES THIS AS MINIMAL RISK
Life Scientist 14th July 2011
CSIRO GM crop attacked by Greenpeace had "negligible" riskThe Office of the Gene Technology Regulator rated the GM crop destroyed today by Greenpeace activists as posing a "negligible" risk to either people or the environment....
The CSIRO is working with foreign GM companies to release unsafe GM wheat into our food supply. These foreign GM companies include Limagrain, one of the biggest investors in GM in the world, and Arcadia Biosciences.
- GREENPEACE IS A FOREIGN COMPANY
CSIRO’s closeness with foreign GM companies has created a clear conflict of interest within the CSIRO. The GM wheat field trial which Greenpeace has removed from the environment was proposed and approved while two directors of Nufarm were serving on the board of the CSIRO. Nufarm is the exclusive distributor of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready products in Australia and Monsanto owns 90 per cent of GM products worldwide. Monsanto and its GM partners stand to make billions from the genetic modification of Australia’s wheat.
CSIRO’s closeness to these GM corporations compromises their ability to make decisions in Australia’s public interest and has resulted in the release of unsafe genetically modified wheat into the Australian environment.
Why aren’t these GM wheat trials safe?
Open, genetic experiments in the environment are never safe, because they can’t be contained. There are massive gaps in the safety assessment that allowed experimental GM wheat to be released into the field.
All evidence shows GM contaminates. The Government’s own data documents extensive GM contamination in Australia. The biggest GM contamination incident in global history started from a small field trial like the one Greenpeace has taken action to contain.
GM hasn’t been proven safe to eat. No evidence has been produced to demonstrate that GM wheat does not have toxic or allergic effects on humans or animals, and yet the Government approved release of GM wheat into the environment anyway.
- GREENPEACE DO NOT PRODUCE THE EVIDENCE ON THIS.
- THE WHEAT HAS ALREADY BEEN TESTED IN SEVERAL SPECIES OF ANIMAL
- THIS IS EVALUATED FOR SUBMISSION TO OGTR PRIOR TO THE TRIALS. UNSTABLE GM VARIETIES NEVER GO THROUGH TO THIS STAGE OF EVALUATION. THIS IS SCIENTIFIFIC BLUSTER BY GREENPEACE
Are the CSIRO really planning to test GM wheat on humans?
Yes, the CSIRO planned to test potentially unstable, experimental GMOs on Australians in the first ever human feeding trial of GM wheat in the world. They planned to test GM wheat on Australians even though there is no evidence that GM does not create toxic and allergic effects.
- WRONG. IT HAS ALREADY BEEN TESTED ON ANIMALS AND RESULTS PUBLISHED. SIMILAR RICE VARIETIES CAUSE NO HARM IN HUMANS AND IN FACT IMPROVE BLOOD CHEMISTRY.
- THE HEALTH POTENTIAL IS OBVIOUS FROM THE CHINESE TRIALS ON HIGH AMYLOSE RICE. see http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2010/04/gm-rice-can-be-healthier-than-non-gm.html
Hasn’t Greenpeace created a GM contamination risk by penetrating the controlled research grounds?
Greenpeace has followed strict HAZMAT protocols in removing this experimental GM wheat from the environment. Our action was also taken prior to the GM wheat plants flowering. Greenpeace’s action has been taken to reduce the risk of contamination by GM wheat during field trials.
- DID THEY SUBMIT THEIR DEALING TO THE OGTR, AS REQUIRED BY THE LAW?
No. Greenpeace has removed a GM wheat experiment that is owned by the CSIRO and run in partnership with foreign GM corporations.
- GREENEACE ARE PENALISING AUSTRALIAN FARMERS WHO LOSE ACCESS TO THIS WHEAT IN THE FUTURE AND AUSTRALIAN TAXPAYERS WHOSE FUNDS ARE WASTED
Has Greenpeace destroyed GM food that could feed the world’s hungry?
The GM industry has done nothing to feed the world’s poor and contrary to GM industry claims, the independent evidence shows that GM seeds do not produce more food.
- WRONG AGAIN
- BUT A SHORTAGE OF FOOD CAUSES HUNGER, AND IMPROVED CROP PRODUCTIVITY IS NEEDEd TO AVOID SHOIRTAGES OF FOOD. ALSO GLOBAL FOOD SUFFICIENCY DOES NOT ENSURE ALL REGIONS ARE SELF SUFFICIENT
Hungry people need money to buy food or land to grow it. GM provides neither. In 2008 a UN report on the future of agriculture by 400 leading international scientists found no evidence that GM increases yields.
- THIS UN REPORT HAD LITTLE OR NO EXPERTISE ON CROP BIOTECHNOLOGY
- IT IS FACTUALLY WRONG
GM companies are saying there is nothing to worry about, is the threat of GM bread a reality?
The GM industry has responded to Greenpeace’s concerns about GM field trials by saying that GM bread is seven to ten years away. However, CSIRO documents claim that GM wheat will be ready for the market by 2015. If CSIRO and their corporate partners adhere to this timeframe, Australia could be facing GM field trials on a commercial scale within the next two years.
It suits the GM industry to have minimum scrutiny of their GM wheat commercialization push. Until the Australian Government commits to no further field trials of GM wheat, Greenpeace will continue to raise the alarm about the threats GM wheat commercialization poses to Australia.
Why should people trust Greenpeace over the CSIRO?
- YES INDEED, SHOULD THEY WHEN THEY ARE WRONG By TWO ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE ON VITAMIN A ENRICHED RICE
- OPEN UP ALL GREENPEACE RECORDS FOR SCRUTINY THEN. ALL THIS MONEY< EXPENSIVE CAMERA<,HAZSUITS SPECIAL TAPE TO STOP OTHER WORK--NEGATIVITY , WASTE TAXPAYER MONEY, LEGAL FEES, BUT HOW MUCH DO THEY DO POSITIVELY CONSTRUCTIVELY TO HELP POOR PEOPLE?
In this case, we have exposed the corporate links to these GM wheat trials and the compromised position of CSIRO in order to better inform the public about where their taxes are going. CSIRO has done the opposite – rejecting all requests by Greenpeace made under Freedom of Information legislation for information relating to their contracts with GM corporations and their intention to test experimental GM wheat on Australians.
There’s no proven health risk of GM, aren’t Greenpeace just scaremongering?
There is evidence of health risks for animals like rats, which have been fed GM plants under test conditions. Some of the health impacts identified in animal feeding studies include increased organ size, reduced fertility and increased allergic responses. The CSIRO’s own animal feeding study documented that GM caused an allergic response in mice and prevented the animals from gaining weight.
- THE VERY FEW STUDIES THAT REACH THE LITERATURE THAT GREENPEACE ARE REFERING TO ARE GREENPEACE INITIATED.
- THERE ARE AT LEAST 410 STUDIES ON GM FOOD SAFETY. GREENPEACE REFER TO A MINORITY OF A FEW THAT SUIT THEIR PRE-CONVICTIONS. THIS IS NOT DISINTERESTED SCIENCE BUT PROPAGANDA.
No, GM wheat will not stop bowel cancer. According to the Public Health Association of Australia and earlier statements made by the CSIRO themselves, no one food can reduce the risk of disease, which is affected by total diet and lifestyle.
- YES, BUT A CHOICE OF DIET OFFERED BY THIS WORK COULD IMPROVE HEALTH. THE PHA ARE NOT FOOD NUTRITION AND BIOTECH EXPERTS.
There are already a lot of safe, healthy food products available with high resistant starch contents that haven’t been genetically modified and don’t come with the risks attached to GM. CSIRO themselves have already developed a number of high resistant starch products without using GM. Hi-Maize and BarleyMax for example, are already on the market. These non-GM products have a higher amylose content than the GM wheat CSIRO is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to develop.
- BUT THEY CANNOT MAKE NICE CAKES OR TYPICAL LOAVES OF BREAD.
CSIRO is also on the record arguing that only a balanced diet and exercise can reduce the risk of disease. This is in line with policy form the Public health Association of Australia, which states that the reduction in risk for disease is affected by the total diet and lifestyle pattern, not by use of an individual food.
- YES, BUT THIS DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE GM WHEAT OFFERING USEFUL DIETARY OPTIONS.
It is never safe to test GM products on humans, because GM crops are subject to unexpected and unpredictable results. That means that no amount of preliminary testing can guarantee the ongoing safety of GM products.
- IF WE APPLY THIS STOP EVERYTHING PHILOSOPHY, ALL CHANGES TO MEDICINE DIET COME TO A HALT. THAT IS EXTREMLY DANGEROUS AS A POLICY IN A CHANGING CLIMATE CHALLENGED WORLD. LETS STOP CLIMATE ACTION TOO< TILL IT IS PROVED TO DO NO HARM.
The lax standards surrounding CSIRO’s testing regimes raise the concern that CSIRO testing will be nothing more than a PR exercise for the GM industry.
- GREENPEACE ARE THE EXPERTS ABOUT LAX SCIENTIFIC STANDARDS
Greenpeace encourages people to read science critically and to be aware of vested interests. There are many vested interests of concern in relation to the development of GM wheat. Greenpeace’s recent report on the corporate links to the GM wheat trials highlights some of these.
- GREENPEACE'S VESTED INTERESTS:
- FUNDS FROM EUROPE THAT WANTS TO PROTECT ITS SUBSIDISED FARMS FROM IMPORTS
- FUNDS TO GP STAFFERS FROM FEARMONGERING
These GM wheat trials are being conducted by CSIRO in collaboration with Limagrain. Other GM wheat trials being conducted by CSIRO are done in partnership with Arcadia Biosciences, a company that is linked to Monsanto. The web of public-private partnerships that sits behind these research programs is misleading and makes it challenging for the public to know where and to whom their tax dollars are being spent. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for the public to exercise its right to hold the government to account.
This difficulty is exacerbated by the secrecy surrounding government documents related to GM plants. Greenpeace’s Freedom of Information request for documents about the commercial partnership between CSIRO and Limagrain was refused. The documents are ‘commercial in confidence’. Australian taxpayers cannot properly exercise their rights to hold the government to account under these conditions.
What does Greenpeace want?
- GREENPEACE DOES NOT REPRESENT AUSTRALIAN VOTERS OR TAXPAYERS AND GOVERNMENT IS NOT ANSWERABLE TO A FOREIGN COMPANY LIKE GREENPEACE
halt all field trials of GM wheat;
increase transparency around public spending on agricultural research and development, disclosing all details of public-private partnerships
increase support for Australia’s world-leading sustainable farming industry
How can I help?
ENSURE THAT GREENPEACE ARE PROSECUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW.
Help us tell the Australian Government to stop all GM wheat trials and keep Australian bread healthy, safe and fair. Go to www.greenpeace.org/australia/wheatscandal and write to the Australian Government and demand an end to the GM wheat trials.