Letters to the editor - March 14

Letters to the editor - March 14

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Find out what's been on the minds of Stock Journal readers this week.

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SUBSIDIES NEEDED TO BOOST KANGAROO HARVESTING

I am writing in reference to the article 'Kangaroo Harvest Push' (Stock Journal, February 21).

I am a farmer in the Southern Flinders area, and due to extreme kangaroo numbers and lack of interest from field processors, I went through the accreditation process to be able to shoot kangaroos for human consumption.

Regarding the accreditation, Macro Meats managing director Ray Borda is quoted as saying, that it "only takes a few hours". This is simply not correct.

It could potentially be done relatively quickly, but due to a Tafe system that can only be described as completely disgraceful, it took me five months of constant pestering at every step of the process to get myself qualified.

Culling permits are relatively easy to obtain, but it is still rather expensive to drive around using fuel, bullets, staking tyres, wearing out your vehicle and rifle, and that's before you put any value on the time you spend doing it.

At least by processing the kangaroos for sale, you can cover all of those costs.

But there are still two big problems that need some attention.

The first is that the licence and tag costs are ridiculously high.

The second problem is that we don't get paid very much for the kangaroos that we sell.

It seems to be a big surprise that only a small proportion of the quota is being harvested, and that we are battling a kangaroo plague.

If the government was interested, it would be pretty easy to subsidise the industry.

If the field processors were able to make more money out of it, then it would make a rather unappealing job much more attractive.

Tom Kuerschner,

Black Rock.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST GM MORATORIUM DON'T ADD UP

So it looks like the international corporate might of 'Big GM' is back, and attempting to influence the SA Liberal government to lift the moratorium on genetically-modified crops ('Millions lost from banning GM crops', Stock Journal, February 21).

As a member of the Gene Ethics Network, I have studied this issue for 25 years and have a large library of research books on the subject.

Any so-called “independent research” has been very thin on the ground, but one study uncovered serious negative problems with animals that were fed on GM food.

This included cancer, liver failure and sterility.

Most research has been done by the giant vested interests which, of course, has found no problems, and I understand that the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator does no research itself. It just accepts what the industry tells it.

How can it then find GM organisms to be “safe” or not ?

Haven’t we learnt from the serious cross-contamination problems that occurred in WA where an organic grower was irreversibly contaminated by his neighbour’s GM crop?

I do not want this to happen to my own four-hectare property that has not had a chemical put on it for 30 years.

How do you stop the wind, the rain and bees from spreading GM organisms? You can’t.

Why are the economic arguments being put forward by Grain Producers SA in complete contrast to a massive amount of research in my library?

Who paid for the Anderson investigation (the Independent Review of the South Australian GM Food Crops Moratorium)?

How many European Union countries have banned GM crops, and why has Russia also done the same?

There are obviously issues here that are being kept from we, the people, the vast majority of whom have decided that they do not want to eat GM food.

It is my opinion that giant biotech companies are trying to patent staple food supplies in order to make billions of dollars.

The patented, non-reusable seeds are very expensive and many farmers in countries such as India have found that out to their peril. As weeds have become resistant to chemicals, stronger and stronger ones are needed, not less.

I wonder how many chemical sales companies are pushing this GM proposal?

To say that this whole agenda is unconscionable is, in my view, an understatement.

Alex Hodges,

Birdwood.

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