Letters to the editor - April 11

Letters to the editor - April 11

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See what's on the minds of Stock Journal readers this week.

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CONTRASTING CLIMATE VIEWS

The article 'Traditional winter may vanish by 2050' (Stock Journal, March 24) needs comment.

With all the technological knowledge that is being written by academics, university professors and climate change activists forecasting the end of winter by 2050, they are, in my opinion, trying to play God.

Australian Conservation Foundation spokesperson Kelly O'Shanassy stated that most politicians deny the established science.

I am being realistic, when I believe there are scientists with opposing views. There are those who believe in the big bang theory, and those that believe the universe was created by an Almighty God.

I believe we are in the events when climate will change dramatically, and scientists will not be able to stop it by whatever means. 

If you doubt this is the future, you seriously need to read the Bible in the book of Revelation, for it describes just such events.

Common sense is not very common anymore, unfortunately it has been taken over by political correctness.

Hedley Scholz,

Eudunda.

BAN PROTECTS OUR MARKETS

We produce popcorn for the Australian and Japanese markets. We use canola oil in our production.

If we had to put "Contains GM canola oil" we would lose our customers overnight. Consumers of food in Australia and Japan do not want to eat genetically-modified ingredients.

We don't want to import ingredients because we also claim 99.9 per cent Australian ingredients.

We also understand the economic pressures of producing food for Australian consumers. We could buy corn at half the price from the United States but we support our farmers.

We would prefer to see the moratorium on GM crops continue till 2025.

Ian Wright and Jonny Forster,

Jonny's Popcorn Delights, HIndmarsh.

GM POPULARITY WANING

CropLife dismisses Ms Hodges as an activist, telling her to switch to peer-reviewed research on genetically-modified crops ('Scientific evidence must be top priority in GM debate', Stock Journal, April 4).

But CropLife itself is an activist group, which speaks on behalf of its members - including Bayer, BASF, Corteva, NuFarm, Syngenta and Sumitomo - and donates to political parties.

It's a shame that CropLife's letter fudges the figures on GM crop performance and prospects.

For example, its letter trumpets that 17 million farmers in 24 countries grew GM crops in 2017.

But the global GM industry was already in decline by then. At its peak, in 2015 more than 18 million farmers grew GM, while in 2011 GM cotton, soy, corn and canola were grown in 29 countries.

GM crops are not a global industry. Of the 24 countries growing GM in 2017, just five grew more than 91 per cent of all GM crops - the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and India.

Australia ran 12th at 0.9 million hectares and other countries' GM acreages were vanishingly small.

CropLife points to Australian field trials as a sign that GM crops have a future.

But crop plant field trials date back to the late 1980s and publicly-funded trials only produced some herbicide tolerant and Bt insect resistant GM cotton varieties, using Monsanto's patented genes on which it levies a hefty fee. The drought and salt tolerant cotton that was promised has not appeared.

As CropLife agrees, transition to a sustainable future for Australian agriculture is urgently needed.

But it will be based on regenerative farming systems, integrated pest management, and small soil husbandry, not GM crop plants, animals or microbes.

The oil, phosphates and other rapidly depleting inputs on which intensive industrial farming depends will soon be too scarce and expensive to be used on farms.

So public research and development resources should be redirected from input dependent, intensive and industrial agriculture into the systems that will still work with climate change, scarce water and soil.

This change should be a top priority for whoever governs Australia next, as we and our kids must be reliably fed, clothed and housed into the future.

Bob Phelps,

Gene Ethics executive director.

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