GM Foods

Member for South Perth John McGrath says he has reservations about a State Government decision to lift the ban on growing genetically modified food crops.

Mr McGrath said there was insufficient research to convince him that the introduction of GM food crops was in the best interests of all West Australians.

“I have been canvassing consumers in my electorate and the majority are against GM foods,” he said.

 “I think the research on all aspects of GM crops – from a farm practice point of view, economic benefit to WA and a health perspective — needs to be more compelling before we travel down that path.

Mr McGrath said it would be better to approach the subject of GM crops with caution.

“It will be too late to shut the gate once the horse has bolted,” he said. “Especially, if there is no upside to it.”

Mr McGrath said it would be unwise for Western Australia to sacrifice its competitive  advantage of being able to sell GM-free canola to the non-GM markets of Europe and Japan.

“In 2008-09 more than 90% of WA’s canola was exported to the EU,” he said.

Mr McGrath said he had begun the task of personally polling people at shopping centres in his electorate.

“Fifty per cent were against GM foods and only 10 per cent in favour,” he said.

 “Of those people I surveyed, 38 per cent did not feel informed enough to have an opinion on GM foods. That’s a concern.”

Mr McGrath said people could make their views known by contacting his office.

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