Australia’s wheat scandal report

The biotech takeover of our daily bread

A report from Greenpeace detailing their argument why the Australian Government must intervene to stop the corporate attempt to commercialise GM wheat in Australia by 2015, beginning with a ban on all trials of GM wheat in the field.

Fundamental changes are taking place in Australia’s wheat industry and corporations with monopoly control and strong conflicts of interest are calling the shots. While the ‘oil for food’ scandal made headlines in 2005, the carve-up of Australia’s wheat infrastructure by global biotech corporations has received little airtime.

There are obvious questions about the impact of corporate monopoly on prices and market access for Australian wheat. Less obvious has been the increasing stranglehold of global biotech corporations on Australia’s wheat industry.

In October 2010, Greenpeace Australia Pacific released a report showing that the companies now in control of Australia’s wheat export market have strong ties to the global biotech industry. These biotech companies are pushing for Australia to become the first country in the world to commercialise genetically modified (GM) wheat. Greenpeace can now reveal that the same global biotech companies are behind the nine GM wheat field trials planted across five Australian states this year.

Why is this a problem for our wheat industry? The research and development of GM wheat in Australia is occurring at the behest of the corporations that stand to benefit.

While it is now the norm for scientific research to be run in partnership with corporations, it is a problem when the vested interests of corporations are at odds with the interests of Australian farmers and citizens. Unless the government steps in to weed-out the vested interests in Australia’s GM wheat trials, Australian wheat farmers stand to be swindled out of billions of dollars and Australian consumers will be eating GM bread that has never been proven safe. This report details why the Australian Government must intervene to stop the corporate attempt to commercialise GM wheat in Australia by 2015, beginning with a ban on all trials of GM wheat in the field.

Read the full report @ Greenpeace.com

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