Greenpeace's response to the Government’s Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)

Press release - 8 July, 2011
Yesterday Greenpeace Australia released a report on the threat of GM Wheat in Australia, Australia’s wheat scandal: The biotech takeover of our daily bread.

Greenpeace has come under intense fire from GM companies and the Australian Government for the revelations made in this report about the risks GM wheat poses for Australia.

GM has never been proven safe to eat and that there are major risks involved in open experiments of GM wheat that have been ignored by our Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR).

Yet according to the Government’s Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), GM poses no risk to human health. The GRDC claims that Greenpeace’s report is “deceitful” and “has no basis”.

Below is our response , presenting the GRDC with evidence from the Australian Government’s own sources supporting Greenpeace’s report.

'Greenpeace's statements in the report are based on the government's own sources. The CSIRO announced that genetically modified (GM) bread will be marketed in Australia by 2015.[1] Greenpeace has referenced CSIRO's own feeding study on mice, which demonstrated the risks GM food poses to human health.[2] GM food has never been proven safe for people to eat. Further, the risks of releasing genetically unstable GMOs into the field are openly acknowledged in the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator's (OGTR) own safety assessments.[3]

Evidence on CSIRO links with foreign biotech companies has also been sourced from CSIRO documents.[4] Greenpeace has demanded more transparent discussion of the evidence on the risks of GM in Australia, but has had its Freedom of Information requests denied; these requests related to the exact financial relationship between CSIRO and foreign biotech companies and the exact health and ethics parameters the CSIRO will use when testing GM wheat on Australians. 

It is the responsibility of the Grain and Research Development Council's (GRDC) to map the potential impact of GM wheat commercialisation on Australia's markets. Rather than attacking Greenpeace, they should do what taxpayers pay them to do and protect the interests of Australia.'

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

For more information, contact:
Elsa Evers
0438 204 041

 

[1] CSIRO “GM wheat trial, OGTR application DIR092” Food Futures Flagship http://www.csiro.au/fi les/fi les/pr3v.pdf (accessed 4 July 2011)

[2] Prescott VE, Campbell PM, Moore A and others (2005). “Transgenic expression of bean alpha-amylase inhibitor in peas results in altered structure and immunogenicity” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53(23):9023-9030

[3] OGTR (2009) DIR 099 Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan, p17; OGTR (2009) DIR 100 Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan, p21.

http://www.ogtr.gov.au/internet/ogtr/publishing.nsf/Content/ir-1 (accessed on 4 July 2011)

OGTR (2009) DIR 094 Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan p14; OGTR (2010) DIR 102 Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan, p.21; OGTR (2010). DIR 102 Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan, p19 http://www.ogtr.gov.au/internet/ogtr/publishing.nsf/Content/ir-1 (accessed on 4 July 2011).

[4] http://www.csiro.au/files/files/pr3w.pdf, page 2. http://www.csiro.au/files/files/pw90.pdf page1.

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