Issue Papers

Monday, May 30th, 2016
Friday, September 14th, 2012

Issue Paper 7 – Glyphosate use and Fusarium outbreaks: cause and effect?

In the past, claims have been made of a link between between the use of genetically modified (GM) glyphosate-tolerant (marketed as Roundup Ready) crops, including cotton, canola and soybean, and an increase in the prevalence of Fusarium fungus attacks on these crops. The two GM crops of most interest in the Australian context are Roundup Ready cotton which has been commercially produced since 1996 and Roundup Ready canola which was commercially produced in some states of Australia for the first time in 2008.

This paper is a brief summary of the literature available relating to the influence of herbicides on soil-borne diseases, with emphasis on glyphosate and Fusarium interactions.

Issue Paper 6 – StarLink Corn

Genetically modified (GM) StarLinkTM corn hit world headlines in 2000, when it was found in USA supermarket products, after only being approved for use in the country as an animal feed. Despite no evidence of harm to human health, what followed was a multi- million dollar food recall, loss of export markets, and a corn buyback scheme across the nation. Since 2000, a number of regulatory changes have been made to avoid such an event occurring again.

Issue Paper 5 – GM crops and patents: the Schmeiser case

A Canadian farmer named Percy Schmeiser, was found guilty in June 2000, by the Federal Court of Canada, of growing genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready® canola without a licence, thereby infringing patent law.

Since the ruling, Mr Schmeiser has travelled around the world telling his story, which is often portrayed in the media as a ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle. The following provides details of the court case and rulings from the Federal Court of Canada.

Issue Paper 4 – GM canola: pollen bees and honey

The issues surrounding pollen flow in relation to genetically modified (GM) canola remain topical following the commercial release of GM canola in Australia in 2008. This paper looks at the two canola varieties developed in Australia, the research undertaken in relation to pollen flow, and the potential management implications for these new varieties.

Issue Paper 3 – L-tryptophan and gene technology

Claims have been made that the use gene technology was responsible for a disease outbreak in 1989 which claimed 37 lives. This incident is often used to question the safety of gene technology, and this paper looks at those claims and the evidence available.

Issue Paper 2 – Butterflies, insects and genetically modified crops

The impact of genetically modified (GM) crops developed to produce their own insecticides has been the subject of ongoing monitoring globally. One of the major areas of interest is the possibility that such GM crops may harm beneficial insects as well as the insect pests they were designed to target.
Thursday, September 13th, 2012