Stewart looked after the farm so I could be at the Perth Supreme court to watch the first day of proceedings in the Marsh versus Baxter case on February 10th. I was interviewed by the BBC in London the following day, so the eyes of the world are definitely on Western Australia right now. This is a landmark case - the first time in the world a farmer has sued someone for loss of earnings due to GM contamination. It is a David and Goliath battle which challenges the farming regime brought about by corporate giant Monsanto.
We heard that Baxter (the
defendent) planted traditional canola in 4 paddocks in the middle of
his farm (these were harvested by header) and GM canola in 2 paddocks adjoining
Marsh farm. This crop was swathed, in what seems like a deliberate attempt to
contaminate. As these allegations
of negligence emerged Mr Marsh's barrister highlighted that Mr Baxter had failed in his duty of
care towards his neighbour. Hopefully
this sends a message to farmers around the world . Hopefully freedom of choice for farmers and
consumers will prevail. If Monsanto have
their way, there will
be a greater tolerance for GM material in non-GM and organic crops. But
consumers have spoken loud and clear that they want a choice to avoid GM food.
Australian organic standards have a zero tolerance for GM. So does the ACCC
(Australian competition and consumer commission) who insist that any food
labelled as GM free is 100% FREE of GMOs. More than 98% of GM crops hide
unlabelled in processed foods and livestock food.
So how do you avoid GM food? Don't buy processed food or animal products unless they are certified organic or you personally know the grower/maker as knowledgeable and dedicated to GM free food . Look for Non GM or GM free labels.
takeover of seeds and the food supply is going on very much under the radar of
most people as the major news outlets do not report it.
The result of this case will impact on every one of us who
eats. It will affect the diet and therefore the health of our pets and
livestock .The entire continent of Canada was contaminated with GM canola
within 2 years of it being introduced, but IMAGINE being a farmer who has no choice
of what to grow. Canadians had to plant patented seeds belonging to
Monsanto, there were no other varieties available. Here in WA last year ,
farmers were offered the "buy 2 and get the 3rd bag free" deal for
canola seed ( which was GM but that was only mentioned in jargon in the fine
print). There was great support for Marsh over the weekend and
again at the court.People came out to say “ I want to eat natural food” like
never before. They do not trust the safety claims of regulators who have
previous employees of the biotech industry as their chiefs. Polls in Australia
indicate that the vast majority of people want GM FREE food, however
proponents of this novel crop tell us that we can't expect a GM free
diet, that it is impossible because "Nature doesn’t work that way" .
Strange coming from genetic engineers who have no respect for (and no wish to
know) how nature works. In the incisive words of Janet Grogan " If Steve loses his
case, food that consumers are demanding will be forcibly
replaced" ..Health ramifications are already huge. , we know 15
times more herbicide is used on these Round Up ready crops. We know from the
Seralini studies that this an extremely potent biocide. Unbelievably, the
recognised ‘safe limit’ for Round Up has actually been raised to accommodate
the increased Round Up residues on GM foods. The
dangers of Round Up are largely
minimized and/or under-reported but in fact this herbicide is linked to
24 diseases. Glyphosate disrupts our hormones and induces cancer ,
infertility, and birth defects .