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Greens respond to Steve Marsh decision

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 28 May 2014

The Australian Greens said today that the campaign to protect people against the threat of GM crops will continue, despite the disappointing verdict in the case of organic farmer Steve Marsh.

"Today's decision reiterates the fact that the rights of non-GM farmers are not being protected, and the system needs to change," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"It is clear that non-GMO farmers such as Steve Marsh face significant financial impacts if their crops are contaminated. GM crops have not proven to be safe, nor have they been able to live up to the claims they can increase yields and reduce pesticide use.

"Serious concerns remain about the use of GM crops in Australia, and to address this the Greens are calling for the reinstatement of the moratorium on GM crops in WA and changes to the laws governing liability and food labelling in order to protect the choices of farmers and consumers across the state.

"I congratulate Steve Marsh and his supporters for their work. They have carried a heavy burden for a number of years and their efforts will remain invaluable to the campaign for choice, transparency and protection for farmers, consumers and the environment," Senator Siewert concluded.

"WA laws have failed a fairness test today," WA Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said today.

"This is a saddening result for Steve Marsh and non-GMO farmers holding their breath in hopes of a defence against Monsanto .

"It is clear that GM farming cannot co-exist with organic farming when voluntary regulation practices are ignored. What we have seen in this court case is an undeniable dismissal of voluntary regulations that could have prevented the contamination of Steve Marsh's organic crops.

"The judgment comes at great cost to the Marsh family and non-GMO farmers everywhere.

"The Greens will continue to work toward a fairer system were one farmer isn't forced to battle his neighbour. There must be a better way".

 

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