Submission to the Review of Gene Technology Act 2000 from Tracey Skippings

Individual review of the Gene Technology Act 2000

Page last updated: 10 August 2011

Dear Secretariat

Submission of Gene Technology Review

I wish to comment as follows:

  • The effectiveness and efficiency of the way that the regulatory scheme operates, taking account of developments since 2005-06 including:
a) "the national scheme for gene technology regulation in Australia to identify any needs for, and opportunities to achieve, improvement in its national consistency, efficiency and effectiveness and coodination; and investigate if the aims of the Agreement to determine these are being achieved;" Improvements could be made in assessing gene technology if the OCTR would only accept independent testing of products instead of self regulated testing and results and proof of adequacy by the gene technology companies such as Monsanto.

The operation of the regulatory scheme is neither effective nor efficient when biotech companies in Australia are permitted to create a threat to organic agriculture.

b) "emerging trends and internationsal developments in biotechnology and its regulation ans whether the regulator system stipulated by the Act, including definitions within the Act, is flexible enough to accommodate changing circumstacnes;" The OGTR needs to take into account views expressed by independent scientists with an opposing view to that expressed by the biotech companies. We the consumers are hearing more and more evidence of health problems associated with GM foods and products. There is also continuing evidence that GM crops do nothing to enhance the environment or the agricultural land on which they are grown. This is due to the even more excessive use of chemicals to control ever increasing weed growth and insect control due to artificial growing methods.
  • The consultation provisions of the Act to determine:
c) the stakeholders for various applications under the Act and the methodology used to engage them. Stakeholders include not only the biotech companies but farmers, communities and consumer. The growing of GM canola had been approved by the OGTR in Australia. There are now conflicts and tension arising between farmers, their non GM neighbours, communities and companies. The OGTR must consider and actively communicate more effectively with the public.

Yours sincerely

Tracy Skippings

Original submission in PDF format (PDF 56 KB)

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