Petition passed to politicians
The New Caledonian association STOP OGM Pacifique launched a petition in May 2014 to say « NO to Australian GMO wheat ».
This petition gathered more than 10 600 signatures, and has been handed over to the New Caledonian Government and Congress.
Since 2005, Australia has been conducting open field testing with a dozen varieties of GMO wheat and barley. The following has resulted :
- uncontrolled contamination of GM wheat in non GMO farms,
- waste of public money : redirection of public research for commercial purposes involving the largest multinational biotechnology companies,
- health concerns,
- commercial failure of crops, thus endangering farmer livelihoods
Wheat is one of the main agricultural products of Australia, with two thirds of the wheat produced being shipped for export. Australia is the sixth largest wheat producer and fourth largest exporter globally.
The start of the commercial cultivation of GM wheat is expected for 2015, which will make Australia the first country to commercialize transgenic wheat. New Caledonia imports more than 95% of its wheat from Australia. There are other Pacific Island countries that are also heavily dependent on this supply from Australia.
A Citizen's Movement
Beginning in Mai 2014, at the March Against Monsanto in Noumea, we debuted our petition against Australian GMO Wheat. From that point, our members helped spread the petition information throughout the region, reaching as far away as the US and France. In those 6 months, we also took the opportunity to inform visiting tourists, talk to local politicians…etc.
The Petitioners ask the elected officials of New Caledonia...
- to undertake all the necessary arrangements to ensure that transgenic wheat does not have the chance to be consumed by the population of New Caledonia.
- to begin mandatory labelling of food products containing GMO’s in 2015.
- to hold an immediate review of the proposed GMO regulations already voted on by the CCE in October of 2013.
... the Australian Government, CSIRO and OGTR:
- to stop testing GM wheat and adopt the strict application of a freeze on the authorization of new GMOs in Australia
The petition will be passed on to the Australian Consulate, and from there presented to the Australian Government.
STOP OGM team would like to warmly thank all the people who showed support with their signatures and work on the movement.
We wish to remind the elected officials to follow through with their promises to improve the issue of GMOs in 2015.