Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    Public forum to discuss Genetically Modified (GM) crops

    12/11/2007 12:00 PM
     
    12/11/07

    One of the world’s most prominent opponents to Genetically Modified Food, Jeffrey Smith, and one of Australia’s foremost advocates for GM foods are to be keynote speakers at a GM public debate at Challenge Stadium in Mount Claremont.

    Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance said Mr Smith, an internationally best -selling American author, and Australian geneticist Dr Ian Edwards would join four other prominent speakers on a panel to discuss the GM issue, with the theme ‘Thought for Food’.

    The forum will be held tonight and is a free event, providing an opportunity for interested organisations and the public to gain more information on the GM issue.

    The Minister will open the forum, and speakers will be introduced by media broadcaster Gerry Gannon, who will act as moderator for the event.

    Western Australia currently has a moratorium on the commercial production of GM crops, which will be reviewed in 2008. A Ministerial Genetically Modified Organisms Industry Reference Group, with representation from all sides of the debate, will assist in the review process.

    Mr Chance said it was vital that all stakeholders were well informed. He met regularly with all sides of the GM debate to listen and consider their views.

    “We maintain our very considered and cautious approach on the GM issue. I recently met with the Consumers Union of Japan who urged me to maintain our GM moratorium. Clearly our ‘clean green’ reputation is valuable in the international marketplace,” he said.

    “I am encouraging full public discussion, with plenty of good information from both sides of the debate.”

    The other speakers include Dr Judy Carman, Institute of Health and Environmental Research in South Australia, Dr David Topping, CSIRO Human Nutrition in South Australia, Mrs Julie Newman, Network of Concerned Farmers and Mr Bill Crabtree, Perth agricultural consultant.

    The forum will begin at 7pm, finishing shortly after 10pm. Supper will be provided at the conclusion.

    People interested in attending can register by contacting Vicki Westphal at DAFWA by emailing vwestphal@agric.wa.gov.au

    Minister's office: 9213 6700