Submission from Graham Wearne to the Gene Technology Act 2000 Review

Individual Review of the Gene Technology Act 2000

Page last updated: 25 August 2011

As a concerned member of the WA Public I wish to register my comments as below, relative to the above subject review.

Given the object of the Act is "to protect the health and safety of people and the environment from risks posed by, or as a result of, gene technology by identifying those risks and managing them by regulating certain dealings with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)": I comment that there has been no definitive testing regime established and managed, to monitor those risks factors over a period which is considered reflective of a genuine and meaningful test regime.

My understanding of available readings is that all supporting data at this stage has been provided by either GM company Monsanto, or Australian national regulatory bodies who have used third Country provided data to support the GM company argument.

One WA organic grower has been effected by GM canola contamination which has seen the WA State Government support Monsanto, and has seen fit to forsake this grower to the civil legal system for the saving of this organic farming practice.
The productivity of Monsanto GM canola has NOT been vindicated during the 2010 WA season and the poor weather alone is being used to maintain support of its benefits for the 2011 season.

This Act has, in WA, pitted farmer and neighbour against each other to the benefit only of Monsanto and the pro argument got GM. The long term risk to people and animals without definitive testing of GM crops by independent Australia Government body testing, to specific criteria and over an accepted period whereby results can be believed.
Presently, the risks are being left to surface on a "told you so" basis; at which time the health of Australian and global customers of GM products may have been effected in a manner resembling the recent deaths of German people via an unknown as yet salad vegetable.

Governments are not supposed to allow this eventuality to occur, their role is to ensure the integrity of the aim of this Act; viz. "to protect the health and safety of people and the environment from risks posed by, or as a result of, gene technology by identifying those risks and managing them by regulating certain dealings with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)".
I would like to see this Act rereviewed to remove the aim sentence words, "or as a result of". These words allow and ill-defined aim which is currently used as an "out" for the responsibility of the Government. Once definitive test results are known, this wording can be amended to reflect the accepted risks or not.

Regards

Graham Wearne


Original submission in PDF format (PDF 190 KB)

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