February 10th 2014 11:33
“Mr Marsh is fighting for choice, he is fighting for Western Australian farmers to grow organic crops for a lucrative market without concerns about uncontrollable contamination. This choice filters down to consumers that want the option of an organic alternative to GM - this concerns us all,” Ms MacLaren said.
“When the Barnett State Government lifted a ban in 2010 for the commercial cultivation of GM canola, I predicted that it would damage the livelihood of non-GM farmers. In Parliament in 2009 I moved to disallow the Government’s GM crop order, I campaigned relentlessly with my constituents at anti-GMO rallies and in the chamber,” she said.
“Now we are facing the reality we all feared. The cross contamination occurred the same year the ban was lifted, four years on Steve Marsh is facing a costly and exhausting court battle with his neighbour.”
“The State Government provided no protection for farmers like Steve when it opened the gate to GMO crops. I have argued for better farmer protection laws so that folks like Steve don’t face this expensive ordeal in court.”
“I am sure Mr Marsh did not want a court case with his neighbour, however with Monsanto repeatedly refusing to pay compensation for cross-contamination, the WA farmers have no choice but to build a civil legal case against one another.”
“Whether it is identified that Mr Marsh or neighbouring farmer Michael Baxter are responsible, this case will set precedent for the rest of the world on who is answerable for contaminated crops.”
The WA Greens will continue to campaign to keep commercially cultivated GM crops of out Western Australia. Their main concerns are the altering of native flora and fauna or threatening native animals, the patenting and commercial control of life forms and the impact on the lucrative and clean green image of the organic grower industry.