Columbans warn pro-GM food lobby has eyes on Australia

The Columban Missionaries say the biotech industry which promotes GM food as a solution to global hunger is trying to get GM food crops into Australia.

In a statement for World Food Day today, the Sydney-based Columban Centre for Peace, Ecology and Justice warns there is strong pressure on State Governments to lift moratoria which were placed in 2003/04 on the growing of GM crops.

The Centre says the "sheer strength" of the pro-GM lobby in Australia will inevitably cause states to lift the bans.

"Giving the green light for GM food production which, once implemented, is irreversible," said the Centre's Fr Charles Rue. "Where is the respect for life and God's creation when the simple human right to decide on what you consume can be imposed unawares?"

Fr Rue said adequate independent testing has not occurred.

"Instead there has been a big PR campaign to convince some farmers that their income will improve by using GM crops (i.e. Canola)," he said.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation says that 854 million people do not have sufficient food for an active and healthy life. This year's theme for the UN "World Food Day" is The Right to Food.

"The right to food is the inherent human right of every woman, man, girl and boy,
wherever they live on this planet," he said.

"We support the UN focus on the right to food, not just the right to food sufficiency, but the right to food sovereignty.

"We believe that Genetically Modified food is a threat to food sovereignty."

The Columban Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice on World Food Day 2007 calls on the Australian State Governments to continue the GM Food Moratoria till 2015.

Media Release, World Food Day 16 October 2007 (Columban Mission Institute)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Columbans Mission Society
World Food Day
GM foods (Wikipedia)

Ratzinger Biotech multinationals worry Columbans on World Food Day (CathNews, 15/10/04)
Pope hints at thumbs-down for GM food(CathNews, 18/10/04)
Columbans petition Govt on GE food (CathNews, 07/04/06)

16 Oct 2007