The article begins by articulating the conservative government view, and the leaking of a recent government report.
Australian farmers should be allowed to plant genetically modified crops as soon as possible so they can compete with the rest of the world, according to a confidential Federal Government report.
Genetically modified crops pose no danger to human health or the environment and should be given the green light, the report said.
Federal Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran, who is leading the push to have GM crops widely introduced across Australia, is backing the report.
But the findings have dismayed experts and environmentalists who
say GM foods — dubbed Frankenfoods by the media — could be detrimental to human health and to the environment.
Planting GM food crops is banned in all states except Queensland. The ban is due to expire in Victoria and NSW early next year, but is currently under review.
With the strong backing of farm groups and the CSIRO, both
Victoria and NSW are widely expected to lift the ban.
However there is still strong opposition to GM crops from many Australian scientists doing research into the effects:
Institute of Health and Environmental Research director Judy Carman, an epidemiologist and senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide, said a number of studies had shown that rats fed a diet of genetically modified canola had recorded increases in their liver weights of about 16 per cent.
"These rats were getting swollen livers and yet no more research into why that was happening has ever been done," Dr Carman said.
"We should be demanding further testing, because when you look at the safety aspects we just don't know what the potential impacts are."