Archive for June, 2014


17 June 2014. Source: – ixzz353CpMsa4

Despite ongoing controversy about the safety of GMO foods, human trials are about to begin on a GM banana that has the potential to drastically reduce infant morality and malnutrition in Africa, reports the Independent.

The GMO banana, which was developed by Australian scientists and backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a vitamin A-enriched version of a common East African cooking banana. Vitamin A deficiency is estimated to kill up to 700,000 children annually and causes about 300,000 cases of blindness globally each year, so the enriched banana has the potential to significantly impact public health for the better. This is especially the case in Africa, where as many as 70 percent of the population in some countries rely on cooked banana for the bulk of their nutrition.

Researchers are optimistic that human trials will be successful and that their genetically enhanced banana will go into commercial production in Uganda by 2020.

“Good science can make a massive difference here by enriching staple crops such as Ugandan bananas with pro-vitamin A and providing poor and subsistence-farming populations with nutritionally rewarding food… We know our science will work,” said professor James Dale, who is leading the nine-year banana project at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane…


16 June 2014. Source:

Australian growers are switching to Roundup Ready canola at the fastest rate yet purchasing a record 855 tonnes of seed this season.

Sales surged across the country demonstrating grower confidence in the value of Roundup Ready canola in all growing regions. More than 2,700 tonnes of Roundup Ready canola seed have been purchased since its introduction in 2009.

New high performing varieties, diminishing premiums for non-GM canola and growing market acceptance led to sales of 639 tonnes in WA sales (up 53%). Sales growth was even stronger on the east coast with growers in Victoria purchasing 91 tonnes (up 72%) and 125 tonnes (up 59%) in New South Wales.

The 55% increase in sales this season will lead to a big jump in market share as the overall area planted to canola is expected to be only slightly larger than last year.

Monsanto Australia Managing Director, Daniel Kruithoff, said that Roundup Ready canola is now a mainstream agricultural tool for growers across the country…


18 June 2014. Source:

A Western Australian organic farmer will appeal a Supreme Court decision in a landmark GM contamination case.

Kojonup farmer Steve Marsh launched legal action against his neighbour Michael Baxter after claiming GM canola blew from his crop onto Mr Marsh’s land in 2010.

Mr Marsh claims the contamination caused him to lose his organic certification on more than half his property for almost three years.

He sought $85,000 in damages, but the claim was thrown out last month after a three-week trial, with Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Martin ruling in Mr Baxter’s favour.

Slater and Gordon lawyer Mark Walters, who is representing Mr Marsh in the action, said a notice of appeal had been filed in the Court of Appeal.

Mr Marsh said after a lot of consideration, he and his wife Sue had decided to exercise their right to appeal.

Mr Baxter told the ABC he was aware of the appeal.

He said he was surprised because he thought the judge was very clear in his decision…


Source: Grain Producers SA, Media release – Releases/140606 Media Release – Australia GM Wheat Trilateral Statement.pdf

Australian Growers Reinforce Commitment to GM Wheat

On the five year anniversary of the inaugural GM Wheat Trilateral Statement, Australian grain growers have today launched a renewed commitment to GM wheat, joining with global partners, to launch the 2014 GM Wheat Trilateral Statement.

Fifteen organisations in Australia, Canada and the United States of America, representing producers and millers, have come together publicly to confirm their support for genetically modified (GM) wheat research and development, innovation and science-based decision making.

To date, no GM wheat has been commercialised in the world, however, significant research is underway in Australia and around the world to improve wheat varieties.

Australian research includes work to improve the nutrient efficiency and yield of wheat. In addition to producing varieties better able to survive in dry conditions and modifying starch levels for improved human health outcomes, such as bowel health.

Wheat represents about 20 per cent of human calorie intake, making it an essential part of the global diet and critical to food security. Advanced breeding, including gene technology, will help ensure the continued availability of wheat, particularly improved end products, more sustainable production and environmental benefits.

Genetically modified crops are now 18 years old. In 2013, 175 million hectares of GM crops were planted in 27 countries, including the European Union, by 18 million farmers. Australian farmers are looking forward to GM wheat R&D investments reaching the marketplace.

Australian signatories note their ongoing commitment to work with the grain supply chain to deliver choice, including the supply of non-GM wheat, within reasonable tolerances, to markets that require it.