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Public forums: GM crops – the benefits and risks – First hand experiences from Canada and the USA

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on February 17th, 2009

With Genetically Manipulated (GM) canola grown last year in Victoria and NSW, farmers are deciding if GM canola will be good or bad to grow. North American farmers will tell you about the possible benefits and risks of GM crops and answer your questions on corporate influence, segregation failures, legal issues and the effect on markets.

Guest speakers are: seed cleaners and growers Moe Parr (Indiana, USA) who was sued by Monsanto in 2007 and Ross Murray (Young, Saskatchewan, Canada) who will talk with Australian farmers about reducing our reliance on multinational agribusiness.

Victorian Forums

Wednesday, 25th February, 3-4.30pm, Endeavour Room, Yarrawonga-Mulwala RSL, Melbourne Street, Mulwala
For more information contact Geoffrey Carracher: (03) 5386 6261, 0428 316 901, Waipali@ bigpond. com

Thursday, 26th February, 1-2pm, The K Room, Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne, A light lunch is offered so please RSVP by noon Monday 23 February to assist with catering. Confirmation of your attendance can be made to:
Freja Leonard, E: freja.leonard@ parliament., P: 03 9348 2622, F: 03 9348 2699

Friday, 27th February, 7-8.30pm, Memorial Hall, 63 Hervey St, Elmore, For more information contact Geoffrey Carracher: (03) 5386 6261, 0428, 316 901, Waipali@ bigpond. com

Saturday, 28th February, 2-3.30pm, Wellesley Performing Arts Centre, For more information contact Geoffrey Carracher: (03) 5386 6261, 0428 316 901, Waipali@ bigpond. com

Guest Speakers

Moe Parr (Indiana, USA) owns and operates Custom Seed and Grain Cleaning in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Michigan. Born in 1934, he grew up on a farm, married in 1961 and has six children. In February 2007 Monsanto sued Moe, alleging he had aided, abetted and encouraged his customers to breach Monsanto’s GM Roundup Ready soybean patent. Monsanto used his bank records to also investigate his customers for patent infringement. Moe couldn’t afford the legal fees, settled out of court, and must now give Monsanto samples of all the seed he cleans, to test for Roundup Ready soy contamination. Moe’s customers are too scared to save seed and he has lost his soy seed cleaning business. He still cleans wheat, oats, barley and rye as they are not GM.

Ross Murray (Young, Saskatchewan, Canada) is a third generation seed grower and grain cleaner. He has a BA in Economics and honours degrees in Political Studies and History from the University of Saskatchewan. He farms grain with his brother Scott on the family farm, is a pedigree seed producer, runs Manitou Custom Seed Cleaning, and is a life member of the Canadian National Farmers Union. With a keen interest in economic and environmental sustainability, Murray began going organic in 2002. He worries about the viability of rural communities with volatile global markets and believes agriculture’ s dependence on synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertiliser, and GM will sacrifice biodiversity, health, and food security. Ross wants to talk with Australians about reducing our reliance on multinational agribusiness.

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