Did you know the Department of Environment and Primary Industries plans to trial genetically modified wheat in Horsham Victoria from November this year?
A two-hectare trial plantation of GM wheat that has been modified for increased yield stability and improved drought tolerance is planned. Not everyone is pleased to hear this news. There have not been any human feeding trials on genetically modified wheat. Its potential effects are unknown.
According to Mr Carracher, who is a spokesperson for the Network of Concerned Farmers in Victoria, “In pigs it has had adverse health effects and the same thing could happen in humans. Trials were done on GM peas and the CSIRO put a bean gene in the peas and it affected the immune system of rats.”
In time we will surely find out what effects genetically modified foods have on the immune system of humans.
Even if you wanted to strictly avoid consuming GM foods, it’s very difficult because there’s a strong risk of cross contamination. According to Mr Carracher, “With GM canola, it was a hell of a problem because seeds could travel up to two or three kilometres and contaminate non-GM crops.” In the USA, other crops have been contaminated with GM wheat. In May, a GM wheat contamination in the United States shut down wheat exports to Japan and Korea. It’s impossible to completely control Mother Nature; wind, insects and birds can distribute seeds great distances, contaminating non-GMO or organic crops.
The next question to ask is, if Australia grows genetically modified wheat, who is going to buy it?
Wheat is currently a major export crop for our country. More and more countries are taking a stand against genetically modified foods. In some parts of the world, Australia has a clean and green image, but our eagerness to adopt genetically modified crops will probably tarnish that reputation and negatively affect our export capabilities and economy. Perhaps Australia should reconsider before it’s too late.
News like this is really just another reminder that we’re all better off avoiding wheat and most grains in general.
Even without any genetic modification, wheat is highly irritating to the digestive tract and immune system of most people. It is high in a type of starch called amylopectin A, which promotes a rapid rise in blood sugar, hunger and cravings. Therefore getting rid of wheat from your diet is a very effective way for most people to lose weight. It’s also a good way of overcoming sinusitis and hay fever, which many people suffer with at this time of year.
What do you think about GM wheat?