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GMOs and organic agriculture: Six lessons from Australia

Paull, John (2015) GMOs and organic agriculture: Six lessons from Australia. Agriculture & Forestry, 61 (1), pp. 7-14.

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Document available online at: http://www.agricultforest.ac.me/data/20150318-01%20John%20Paull.pdf


GMO moratoria are in place in Australia, in some states and not in others. Is co-existence possible between organic farming and GMO farming? And if so, under what circumstances? Australia has more certified organic land than any other country, with a reported 12.0 million hectares of certified organic land compared to the world total of 37.5 million hectares. In a recent court case, an organic farmer lost his organic certification because of GMO contamination. A total of 325 hectares of his 478 hectare farm were contaminated with GM canola blown from a neighbouring property, and this resulted in the decertification of most of the farm. The organic farmer sued his neighbour, a GMO farmer, on the basis of nuisance or negligence, he sought damages for loss of income, and he sought an injunction to rein in his neighbour‟s future GMO farming practices. The case ran before the Supreme Court of Western Australia over three weeks and it generated more than 1000 pages of transcript. The case was dismissed in its entirety, in a 150 page judgment, and is now subject to an appeal. This paper examines the judgment, in the light of the trial transcript of this landmark case, with the view to determining the implications for the future of organic farming and GMO farming, and in particular to ascertain what lessons can be learned from this litigation.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Marsh v Baxter, GM canola, Genetically Modified Organisms, canola, swathing, contamination, organic farming, Kojonup, WA, Australia.
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Assessment of impacts and risks
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Food systems
Environmental aspects
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Research affiliation:Australia > University of Tasmania
DOI:DOI: 10.17707/AgricultForest.61.1.01
Related Links:https://orgprints.org/26549/7/26549.pdf, https://orgprints.org/23960/1/23960_MM.pdf, https://orgprints.org/13485/1/13485.pdf, https://orgprints.org/26547/12/26547.pdf
Deposited By: Paull, Dr John
ID Code:28525
Deposited On:08 Apr 2015 10:06
Last Modified:08 Apr 2015 10:07
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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