Letters to the editor - August 22

Letters to the editor - August 22

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The decision to scrap SA's GM crop ban and the use of ag chemicals had our readers fired up this week.

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AGRI CHEMICALS SUBJECT TO RIGOROUS ASSESSMENT

No argument based on a totally false premise should be taken seriously ('Excessive use of chemicals in ag must be addressed', Stock Journal, August 15).

In an increasingly volatile climate, our farmers are tasked with growing enough food, feed and fibre to serve a growing population.

Pesticides assist both organic and conventional farmers to produce safe, high quality, nutritious and affordable food.

It is estimated that $20.6 billion of conventional cropping production is attributable to the use of pesticides - that's 73 per cent of the total value of Australian crop production.

Claims that the use of agricultural chemicals is 'out of control' are false and misleading.

As pesticides have improved through the years, application rates have significantly decreased.

In the 1950s, farmers used up to 2.4 kilograms of active ingredient per hectare to control pests, weeds and diseases.

Today, due to science and innovation, farmers only need about 70 grams to treat the same area.

In Australia, agricultural chemicals are subjected to robust and rigorous assessments by the independent regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

The APVMA considered glyphosate in 2016 - after comprehensively reviewing the International Agency for Research on Cancer's report - and found no grounds for the herbicide's approved uses to be reassessed.

This has also been the finding of all the world's leading scientific regulators.

Modern crop protection products ensure Australian farmers can continue to provide high quality fresh food to feed and nourish our nation.

Matthew Cossey,

CropLife Australia chief executive officer.

SCRAPPING GM CROP BAN IS A DISAPPOINTING DECISION

We have been totally appalled by the sudden lifting of the SA moratorium on genetically-modified crops despite the present parliamentary enquiry not being concluded.

Who or what has applied such pressure that such disrespect to parliamentary process would be shown?

Tas has seen the light and decided to support its clean, green, organic image and lucrative overseas markets.

Who have we got running this state?

Do they not realise that Kangaroo Island cannot be protected from GM organisms that can be carried the few kilometres to the island on wind, rain, by bees and even on vehicles?

In my opinion, some farmers have been extremely misled about potential prices for GM crops, and also the increased costs of GM seeds and chemicals needed to grow GM crops.

It is well-known that giant biotech companies are funding university research to the tune of millions of dollars.

It is also patently obvious that patenting food staples is a future trillion dollar income stream.

There is proof already that third world countries cannot afford this expensive technology.

So much for the mantra "feeding the world".

Wouldn't it be more ethical to breed more drought-tolerant natural strains instead of using what many see as 'Frankenstein' science?

The animal feeding studies that were done in England showed up a litany of serious health problems from eating GM food.

Cancer, liver failure and sterility in second generations should worry anybody who has studied these results.

GM organisms cannot be safely corralled from neighbouring properties.

Who do I sue if my organic, unsprayed property is contaminated?

Alex Hodges,

Birdwood.

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