19. January 2017
- by Kelly Newton-Wordsworth
My name is Kelly Newton-Wordsworth. I have been farming biodynamically with my husband and family for around 28 years. As far as we know, we are the longest running biodynamic farmers in Western Australia. One of the main features of biodynamic agriculture is that we use mainly a “life-enhancing” soil activator as a “fertiliser”, which comes only from cow manure and no chemicals, pesticides, hormones or toxic drenches in the production of all of the food that comes from our land.
We have been warning people of the dangers of growing genetically modified crops and farming with chemicals for years. There are politicians in this state who have been publicly stating that there is “NO” evidence in the world that GM foods are toxic or harmful to the environment. I also heard this statement at a “Women in Agriculture” conference in Wickepin in 2014. This statement is a lie!
There is evidence from all over the world that GM foods are not safe for humans, animals or the environment. I challenge members of the Liberal Government to a public forum with farmers and speakers like ourselves, who have years of experience in ‘poison-free’ agriculture, to let the consumers of our state know what major chemical companies and conventional farmers are doing in relation to the production of our food and our environment. Let the people of WA be fully informed of the dangers of GM foods and then let the people have a referendum to say whether the majority want to eat such toxic foods, or allow the production of them!
We were recently in Japan for FOODEX and at the Embassy, officials were boasting of our “green, clean image” in agriculture. This is a joke that is not funny as it is simply not true. If we want to truly have a “clean, green niche” market in the world economy, stop the poisons used in growing of food in conventional agricultural practices and ban the growing of GM crops in this nation, before it is too late!
Professor Serelini from France found that GM corn has caused large tumours in rats fed GM corn after more than 180 days. Monsanto, who created GM corn, (with a long history of poisoning the planet – dioxins, Agent Orange, PCB’s and so on), tests its products for much less time.
How can this be, with a product that has never existed before in the history of the world? No scientist on the earth has any idea of the long term, radical impact of genetically modifying seeds. The problem for all of us, is that if the short and long term impacts are devastating, there is no way back!
Genetically modified seeds are the dominant seed and take over from the sovereign or original seeds. If the GM seeds are not eliminated, over time, we will only be left with the GM seeds. This is a horror story, that politicians like Terry Redman and Colin Barnett, have started in this state with the introduction of GM canola into WA in 2009.
Did the people of WA have any choice about whether this was what we wanted? With a product of this nature, that has the potential to have such a devastating impact on the short and long term health of people and animals, the question should have been put to consumers to make the choice as to whether they were to be introduced into WA or not.
How can it be that farmers are simply allowed to produce food in whatever way they choose, being backed by companies like Monsanto, growing food with whatever chemicals, pesticides, hormones, drenches and toxic fertilisers they want, and then the unknowing, vulnerable consumers pay the price for the food that is grown, with little or no idea of the way in which it has been grown? If consumers knew what is happening in modern day conventional farming, there would probably be a revolution.
It is very frightening for consumers to find out about the amount of poison that is being used in the world just to grow food. Who is making the largest profit from this? The chemical companies continue to make large profits at the expense of both farmers and the consumers who buy their produce. There are sick and dying farmers all over this state. There are farmers committing suicide. Why?
My husband and I were at a Lions meeting in our town where an ex-farmer and his wife came to speak. The woman stated that every time her husband was spraying, she had to hide their guns, as her husband would come in from spraying and want to kill himself. He was obviously having some kind of reaction to the chemicals which impact on the endocrine system. Other people may have no reaction, but what about the people who do react in this way?
The International Agency for research on Cancer( IARC) in a recent report “found significant carcinogenic effects in laboratory animals for rare kidney tumours and hemangiosarcoma in two mouse studies and benign tumours in two rat studies”.
There are already so many poisons involved in the growing of the food of the world, and now the icing on the cake for the chemical companies, the journey towards the ownership of the world’s seeds by genetic modification, starting with Monsanto in the US for the last 20 years has exposed the American people to GM foods without most of them even knowing about it!
So what has happened to the rights of the people who buy the foods grown by the farmers, thereby providing them with income, but shockingly they are providing a product which is not what it appears to be! Modern conventional farming as far as I am concerned is a fraud against the consumers of the world.
Ask the mother who fed her child GM corn(seen in this documentary, Genetic Roulette, “The gamble of our lives!”
She believed she was feeding her child normal corn, and her son started choking and had to be rushed to hospital. He almost died. She had given her son GM corn without knowing. Would she have happily fed her son GM corn? She was devastated when she found out that the corn was genetically modified. What right did she have to not give her child GM corn. None. That right was taken away from her, when Monsanto developed that GM corn, sold it to the farmers who grew it and neither partner in the growing process informed the buyer of the product what it actually was.
The woman’s son may have had a special allergy to GM corn, but she never had the choice to avoid buying it. GM foods are not labelled in the US. Monsanto is suing the state of Vermont as they are requiring labeling of GM foods and Monsanto is fighting the labeling of its GM creations. What rights do consumers have to not eat GM foods? Not many. These rights will become less and less as GM seeds take over from the ancient seeds. If GM foods are so great for consumers, why is Monsanto suing a whole state of the US to try to stop them from letting the consumers know what they are eating. Surely every person on the earth should have the right to know what they are buying and then eating?
Apart from the abuse consumer’s rights from having little or no idea of the foods they are eating (from either GM crops to foods grown with so many chemicals), look at the devastating impact on organic farmers from Kojonup, Steve and Sue Marsh! To have worked for so many years to achieve their organic grading, that was gone in a “puff of wind” and seeds being carried by rain. That contamination has cost them around $1,000,000 in court costs. Again citizens whose right to true “clean, green” farming was usurped by Monsanto’s creation of GM canola and the growing of it by a neighbour.
Terry Redman with his “invented” barriers to stop the spread of GM have not succeeded in stopping the wind or the rain. What a fool! Unfortunately a dangerous fool! Dangerous fools have contributed to the destruction of so much of our precious environment. It seems that Joni Mitchell’s song, Big Yellow Taxi stating the lyrics, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” are looking like a prophesy. Time to make sure that no more GM seeds manage to find their way into WA.
It is time to take action to stop GM crops from being grown in WA now and forever, and start on the journey to being true to what our politicians and overseas ambassadors claim about our state and nation, that Australia is this great “clean and green” country, producing “clean and green” food. Time to make this a true statement instead of a piece of “dishonest marketing”. There is nothing “clean and green” about the growing of GM crops and the production of food for the world using toxic chemicals, pesticides, and poisons.
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