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Evidence to: Inquiry into mechanisms for compensation for economic loss to farmers in Western Australia caused by contamination by genetically modified material

Paull, John (2018) Evidence to: Inquiry into mechanisms for compensation for economic loss to farmers in Western Australia caused by contamination by genetically modified material. Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs, Parliament of Western Australia, Perth.

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Document available online at: http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/commit.nsf/(EvidenceOnly)/CA81A38C140AF895482581EE0081A3CC?opendocument


The CHAIRMAN: Dr Paull, would you like to make an opening statement?
Dr PAULL: Yes. I would like to make four points. The first point is that the simplest solution is to reinstate the GM moratorium in WA. The second point is that in the Marsh v Baxter case, most of the facts were agreed to, so the case was not about facts. There was $85 000 of real economic loss that was agreed between the parties. There was incursion of GM material across most of the Marsh farm; that was agreed between the parties. Then there were years of litigation and $2 million approximately spent in legal fees. Most of that legal argument was about nuisance or negligence—was this nuisance or negligence in the definition of the common law? The result was 2–1 against in the appeal. So, it was a marginal decision in any event, but the result was that Marsh spent a lot of time, put his livelihood at risk, and there was no satisfaction. I think that really the underlying purpose of why we are here is that that was an unsatisfactory result. The third point is that Marsh v Baxter has had a chilling effect on anyone else harmed, for the simple reason that you do not want to be vilified; you do not want to go through the expense; and you do not want to get no result. The result, you can say, is a culture of ,“Don’t ask; don’t tell”, and that is unfortunate. The fourth point is if there are funds and we can develop a process for collecting the premiums—there are funds coming in and there are funds going out—there is a simple procedure for getting those into balance, because they will be of necessity unbalanced. The way to do that is to put a CTP—compulsory third party—operator in the middle and then they collect the income as premiums, which you can do in WA, and they underwrite the risk that there are claims, and then they pay the claims. The CTP operator has the procedures for doing all that. ICWA is your operator in WA, who does a very respected and competent job in CTP. CTP is a proven method. It works in WA and it works around the world, so we do not need to reinvent the wheel. That is my statement. Thank you.

EPrint Type:Report
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Values, standards and certification
Food systems > Produce chain management
Knowledge management
Research affiliation:Australia > University of Tasmania
Related Links:https://orgprints.org/33158/1/WA.Inquiry.Submission.Paull.pdf, https://orgprints.org/23960/1/23960_MM.pdf, https://orgprints.org/26549/7/26549.pdf, https://www.academia.edu/36274942/GM_food_What_could_possibly_go_wrong, http://www.academia.edu/11695152/GMOs_and_organic_agriculture_Six_lessons_from_Australia, http://www.academia.edu/18575679/GMO_agriculture_versus_organic_agriculture_Genetic_trespass_a_case_study, http://www.academia.edu/11702995/Beyond_equal_From_same_but_different_to_the_doctrine_of_the_substantial_equivalence_
Deposited By: Paull, Dr John
ID Code:33314
Deposited On:13 Aug 2018 12:49
Last Modified:13 Aug 2018 12:49
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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