Want GM Food Labelled? Petition The Government Online!

From the outset, I should state that I’m not necessarily against all genetically modified produce. GM cotton, for example, which has been farmed in the Ord for some time, seems a worthy venture. Cotton is a crop that is particularly prone to insect attack and requires massive dousing with nasty pesticides. The GM varieties are engineered to be resistant to insects.

All but the most rampant of anti-GM protestors, then, might accept the use of genetic engineering in cotton production as the lesser of two evils, since we know about the toxic effects of insecticides, whereas the dangers of genetic engineering – if any – are currently unknown. Hemp, which is naturally resistant to insects, and unlike cotton has low water and fertiliser requirements, would appear to be a much better choice of material to garb ourselves with than cotton…but shit, let’s not credit ourselves with being too sensible when the evidence is everywhere that we’re not.

So let’s say we accept GM cotton as a half-sensible measure. GM food is a different story. Dunno about you, but I care a whole lot more about what I put in my mouth and where it came from than what I wear on my body (which is close to a lost cause anyway, however it’s packaged).

NSW and Victoria have recently allowed the planting of the first GM food crops (canola) downunder. The new Liberal-National alliance in WA went to the electorate openly pro-GM canola farming. When Barnett announced that in the election runup, I was certain he’d shot himself in the foot yet again and damned his party to another stint in the wilderness, but I obviously overestimated the public concern on the GM issue, or underestimated the Carpenter factor…or both.

Seems to me we’ve missed a glaring global commercial opportunity to brand Australia GM free. In time, surely Aussie farmers could have reaped premium prices supplying a world-wide market for GM-free food. No other major primary producing country could have claimed GM-free status. We would have had the market cornered permanently.


Anyway, seems we’re stuck with short-sighted politicians who are programmed to project their policy effects no further than the next election. Once GM food crops are in, there is no going back. The poor bloke on the next farm who wants to stay GM-free no longer has a choice, since there is no way of preventing cross-pollination. Further, GM canola oil will be used in animal food products, so it’s got a couple of portals into the food chain. There are no half-way stances with GM food crops. We’re either in, or we’re out, and our governments have decided we’re in.

That being the case, isn’t it our democratic right to at least be able to choose whether or not to ingest GM produce? No scientist can state with certainty that GM food is safe. It might be, and it might not. Fact. So, those of us who do not wish to take the gamble should not be forced to do so – that is simply undemocratic.

It is our basic right to have food labelled so we can make a choice about what we’re eating. Not to make mandatory appropriate labelling divulging whether a food product contains GM ingredients is more than vastly irresponsible – it is a neglect of duty by any government. I don’t think that is arguable.

If you agree, and I would contend that only an irrational person would not, add your name and comments to Greenpeace’s petition, which reads:

“I call on the Federal Government to protect public health and consumer choice by requiring the stringent safety assessment and comprehensive labelling of GM foods.”

Who knows if petitions have any effect? People = votes, so I suppose if the numbers of signatures are significant in polling terms, the governments that (theoretically) represent us, the community, HAVE to listen and act accordingly. Adding your name beats doing nothing and takes little enough time – you don’t even have to move your arse from where it’s presently lodged! Here’s the link:


If you care about freedom of choice as to what you ingest, copy the link and on-forward it to everyone in your email address book.

NOTE: I have no affiliation with Greenpeace.

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