Testing with RUR sensitive strips : a GM positive roadside canola weed near Horsham.
GM Cropwatch works with farmers and rural communities to monitor and map GM crops, and to combat the spread of GM canola by monitoring, testing and decontaminating roadsides and farms for GM canola weeds. GM Cropwatch is necessary because our governments opened the gates to GM contamination without providing protection for farmers and the environment.
Long hours on country roads checking for GM canola plants are well worth it when GM weeds are identified and permanently removed. Low-cost test kits imported from the USA allow a suspect weed to be verified as GM or GM-free in five minutes.
GM canola was first grown in Victoria in 2008.
Wind gusts had lifted sections of a dried canola crop over the fence and 74 metres along the road, near Horsham in western Victoria.
Authorities would not act so GM Cropwatch worked with local farmers to clean up the GM plants, preventing regrowth.
Monsanto said government and industry had anticipated canola movement and that wind-blown GM canola was not contamination. Local farmers continue to check the area for re-growth.
In 2009, a farmer in southern NSW found 19 of the 20 plants she tested along the highway near Berrigan were GM. GM Cropwatch volunteers helped remove the infestation. The GM plants were safely bagged and delivered back to Monsanto’s office in Melbourne where the company locked its doors.
GM canola spread is preventable. We must get active to keep the choice to farm and eat GM-free a viable option in our country. GM Cropwatch volunteers are active every spring, checking canola plants near GM silos and known sites of previous GM contamination.
Test strip kits used for testing GM seed and leaf from Graintec Pacific