THE introduction of a Genetically Modified (GM) wheat variety with frost tolerance could potentially flood the world wheat market and drastically lower its price and profitability, according to Network of Concerned Farmers WA spokesperson Julie Newman.
“Our competitors will actually fare much better if we bring in GM wheat, because we can grow frost-tolerant crops now but they can’t because of the cold snaps,” she said.
“If you invent a GM wheat variety that has frost tolerance, it will open up all of the rich farming area in Russia and the Ukraine, and there will be a major glut of wheat on the world market.
“It would almost double global production and that means our wheat would be worth a fraction of the price.”
She said a clear set of rules needed to be established to ensure non-GM farmers were protected and retained their right of choice to not grow it.
“The reason you grow a crop is because you want to sell it, but if you can’t sell it, why grow it?
“There’s not much point growing GM wheat if it can’t be sold, because you will make a loss.
“Now that wouldn’t be so bad if it only affected the growers who choose to grow it, but the losses will also be forced upon the other farmers who don’t want to grow it.
“Bringing in GM wheat will force losses on everyone who grows conventional wheat.”