Landmark court case defends right to choose safe food

Press release - 28 July, 2011
SYDNEY, 28 July, 2011: A landmark court case announced today over genetically modified (GM) crop contamination will put the rights of Australian consumers to choose their food on trial, says Greenpeace.

West Australian wheat farmer Steve Marsh is launching legal action against his neighbour for allegedly contaminating his organic property with genetically modified (GM) crops.

“This precedent case is about the right of farmers to choose what they grow,” says Greenpeace Food campaigner, Laura Kelly, “but it could ultimately decide whether Australian consumers have a right to choose what they eat.”

“GM foods have never been proven safe; they have never been tested for long-term health effects,” said Ms. Kelly.

“This case has far-reaching implications. The right of Australians to choose safe, GM-free food is at risk. If farmers can’t stop contamination between natural crops and experimental GM crops, Australians will lose their right to avoid risky GM foods at the supermarket.”

“Steve Marsh is ultimately defending the rights of Australians to choose safe, sustainable and healthy food.”

“Farmers, Mums, Dads and decision-makers around the country will all be watching this case closely,” said Ms. Kelly.

Unlike traditional crops, genetically modified crops cannot be contained, they always contaminate.[1]

“Greenpeace is calling for laws to protect Australian farmers who lose their profits and property rights when their natural crop is contaminated with experimental GM products. We are also defending Australian consumers’ right to know by demanding better GM labelling laws. We all have a right to know if we’re eating GM food that has never been proven safe”.

For interviews or more information, contact: Elsa Evers +61 438204041

Notes:

[1] There have been 29 reported incidents of GM contamination in Australia. For more information go to: http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/what-we-do/Food/resources/Infographics-and-images/GM-contamination-of-Australian-wheat/

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