GM Free Cymru

Pioneer Hi-Bred refuses GM seed for independent canola trial

A 2.5 hectare field trial of GM canola at Esperance, W Australia, has been abandoned because Pioneer Hi-Bred refused at the last minute to provide seed to the research team. This is not at all unusual -- all of the GM seed owners are obsessive about controlling every aspect of trials and about ensuring that they have "friendly" research environments in which the tests can take place. So what are they all afraid of? The truth, that's what.

Note that in the following piece, the whole thing is spun so that the Western Australia Government is blamed for the cancellation of the trial and so that various luminaries go on the record to bemoan the loss of "competitive advantage" in the future.............

Just like Monsanto and Syngenta, Pioneer Hi-Bred is learning the playground tactic of taking its football home if the others on the pitch refuse to play the game according to its own private rules. What a pathetic bunch of wimps.


Regional WA

GM grain test stopped, Government blamed 18th March 2008, 7:00 WST

WA’s first broadacre trial of genetically modified canola has been abandoned, with project proponents blaming the State Government’s hardline stance against commercial use of the technology for its failure.

The South-East Premium Wheat Growers Association and research provider Kalyx Agriculture announced the 2.5ha trial of Roundup Ready canola, which had been given approval to go ahead this year at an Esperance research station, would not proceed after they were unable to get access to seed for the trial.

SEPWA president Chris Reichstein said the group had been hopeful of securing seed until recent comments by Premier Alan Carpenter at the Pastoralist and Graziers Association’s annual conference, where he said there was “no hope” of the Government lifting its ban on GM food crops in WA. “The political reality in WA is that there is no opportunity for commercialisation of the GM canola cropping system in the foreseeable future (so) there is no incentive for the companies to dedicate resources here,” Mr Reichstein said.

He said farmers would watch with interest performance of GM canola varieties now permitted in NSW and Victoria, where the moratoria had been lifted.

“Given a favourable performance there, we will continue to apply pressure to the Government to allow WA farmers to have commercial access to this,” he said.

Pioneer Hi-Bred Australia national marketing manager James Holden said the company would focus on Victoria and NSW with its Roundup Ready crop technology, which was designed to give better weed management and higher yields to growers, arguing there was currently no commercial pathway for the technology in WA.

Agriculture Minister Kim Chance said yesterday he was also disappointed the trials would not go ahead, because they would have provided an independent examination of whether the GM crops held any “agronomic advantage” for WA farmers.

“We can look forward to learning something of the economic performance as a result of trials in NSW and Victoria,” he said. “I will be interested to see, though, if there are any independent trials in either of those States either and that will be the ultimate test.” But Slade Brockman, of the PGA, which is calling for the moratorium to be lifted, said growers in NSW and Victoria would now have a production advantage over WA growers with world-best technology.