Australian farmers brand GM canola a failure

November 25, 2004, ABC News Online - Australia, A farming group says Australia's first commercial genetically engineered (GE) canola crop is not only a failure, it also threatens the viability of the organic produce industry.

The Network of Concerned Farmers (NCF) says aerial photographs show most of the nine hectares of plantings at Lucindale and Naracoorte, in south-eastern South Australia, have died because of water logging.

NCF spokesman Geoffery Carracher says his concern is that flooding has carried GE seeds into the surrounding area. He says contamination would destroy the local organic industry which must be 100 percent GE-free.

"Pierre Aprisol, who owns land at Minemae, Frances and Lucindale, is converting 10,000 hectares to organic...he feels very strongly against the release of GE crops because it can ruin what he's trying to do and any other organic grower in Australia," he said.