Farmers want protection from Seed Giants

An Australian farmers’ group is demanding legislation changes to protect farmers from future anti-competitive behavior by GM seed giant companies.

The Network of Concerned Farmers (NCF) says it has “constantly warned” farm lobby groups and governments about the intention to remove the non-GM choice for farmers and consumers.

NCF National Spokesperson, Julie Newman explained: “Globally, non-GM seed and germplasm is being taken over by companies with a stated intention to own a patent over 100 per cent of all seeds grown. This is done by simply adding a single patented gene to a non-GM variety through genetic modification in order to turn all farmers into being contract growers for a single supply chain nominated by the patent owner.”

“Why has all of West Australian research been handed over to Monsanto and Monsanto’s alliance partner Nufarm?” asked Newman. “And why are governments forcing GM onto the reluctant population under Monsanto’s self-rule?”

She said a recent ABC interview with a whistleblower from the Department of Agriculture revealed that the Department of Agriculture’s past canola breeding intellectual property was virtually given to Monsanto and Nufarm and the existence of the canola breeding work he was involved in was denied. The alliance partnership Intergrain now owns all of the intellectual property of wheat and barley breeding from WA’s public plant breeders and Nufarm’s fully owned subsidiary Cropcare is the sole seed distributor.

“Australian government research institutes are in bed with Monsanto and Nufarm and have agreed to let Monsanto take control. The lack of legislative protection has left non-GM farmers with governments accepting contamination which will cause market loss, loss of ability to market the non-GM choice that consumers are demanding and a bizarre twist of legislation where non-GM farmers are to pay for contamination that we did not want and could not prevent,” said Newman in a press statement.

Source: Network of Concerned Farmers


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