2017 Winter - Twenty years on, the GM debate continues

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Farm Policy Journal: Vol 14 No 2 2017 Winter - Full Journal - Twenty years on, the GM debate continues

Australian Farm Institute (2017), Twenty years on, the GM debate continues, Farm Policy Journal: Vol. 14 No. 2, Winter, Surry Hills, Australia.

ISSN 1449–2210 (Print)
ISSN 1449–8812 (Web)

$60.50


FPJ1402B - Roberts, H (2017), The GMO Advocacy Effort – A Farmer’s Perspective

FPJ1402B - Roberts, H (2017), The GMO Advocacy Effort – A Farmer’s Perspective, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Autumn 2017, pp. 1-5, Surry Hills, Australia.

I have been asked to write about my experiences in being an advocate for genetically modified organism (GMO) policy in Australia. While I have no academic qualifications relating to GMOs, I have always been committed to the application of rational thought and science to policy debates. This has led to me being involved in roles for farmer advocacy groups that have attempted to distil the science and communicate appropriate policy responses for the benefit of farmers. This is how I came to be involved at the start of the ‘GM Debate’ and for that matter is why I am still involved.

$12.10


FPJ1402C - Fitzgerald, P (2017), Gene Technology – Public Perception, Community Values and the Public Relations Machine. Has Agriculture Taken the Community on the Journey?

FPJ1402C - Fitzgerald, P (2017), Gene Technology – Public Perception, Community Values and the Public Relations Machine. Has Agriculture Taken the Community on the Journey?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Autumn 2017, pp. 7-17, Surry Hills, Australia.

Gene technology has delivered significant advances in both human health and agriculture. Australian cotton and canola farmers have embraced new varieties with in-built protection against pests and herbicide resistance delivering improved weed control. Researchers across the country continue to explore the possibilities offered by new traits and also look to utilise new genetic techniques, but will these new varieties make it to the marketplace and into farmers’ hands?

The commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) canola was a mighty battle. The first challenge was for the grain supply chain to come together and work, collaboratively, through the technical logistics presented by this new oilseed crop. While the industry focused on this, media and community interest grew and a well-resourced activist campaign was launched. At the height of the GM canola debate resources were allocated to provide science-based information, manage issues and feed the media interest. Measuring public perceptions and community engagement were key pillars of the communication initiatives.

Twenty years on, the opportunity exists for Australian agriculture to learn from the ‘GM journey’ and build on an existing model to ensure community acceptance and underpin agriculture’s social licence for the future.

$12.10


FPJ1402D - Scheben, A & Edwards, D (2017), The Future of Crop Improvement with Genome Editing Technology

FPJ1402D - Scheben, A & Edwards, D (2017), The Future of Crop Improvement with Genome Editing Technology, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Autumn 2017, pp. 19-31, Surry Hills, Australia.

The rate of crop improvement must increase to meet the demands of a growing population. Although conventional breeding has delivered today’s high-yielding crops, genome editing technologies now offer a faster and more precise approach to generate novel crop varieties. If genomics can provide high-quality crop genome assemblies and functional annotation as starting material, genome editing has the potential to accelerate crop improvement and broaden the range of traits generated in novel varieties. The unclear regulatory status of genome edited crops in most countries and the lack of distinction between non-transgenic genome edited and transgenic modified crops remain important hurdles for the deployment of genome editing in crop improvement. As the functions of more crop genes are revealed and regulatory frameworks are adapted to new technologies, genome editing can provide a powerful new tool to shape the future of agriculture and support global food security.

$12.10


FPJ1402E - Bray, HJ & Ankeny, RA (2017), Reframing GM Communication: From Deficit to Discussion and Engagement

FPJ1402E - Bray, HJ & Ankeny, RA (2017), Reframing GM Communication: From Deficit to Discussion and Engagement, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Autumn 2017, pp. 33-41, Surry Hills, Australia.

Most of our efforts in science communication about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been based on the idea that if people ‘understood the science’, then they’d be more accepting of the technologies associated with GM. This idea, known as the ‘deficit model’, has been widely refuted in the research literature, and yet it persists as a dominant form of communication about genetically modified (GM) technologies. In this article, we discuss why the deficit model was the dominant communication paradigm in the nineties and naughties, including why some of the messages from opponents of the technology (such as concerns about industry investment) might have been overlooked in communication efforts. In addition to GMOs, other scientific and political issues have contributed to our current understandings of science communication, including the role of trust and transparency, values, and community participation and engagement in research. We conclude with some recommendations on best practices for communication about novel innovations in agriculture.

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FPJ1402F - Cottee, N (2017), Biotechnology for Changing Practice

FPJ1402F - Cottee, N (2017), Biotechnology for Changing Practice, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Autumn 2017, pp. 43-51, Surry Hills, Australia.

Australia’s cotton industry has been one of the global success stories in the application and stewardship of transgenic biotechnology to deliver productivity and sustainability gains.

Prompted to adopt new pest management approaches in part to answer social licence challenges – which began in the 1980s and lingered over the following decades – the industry rapidly adopted transgenic insecticidal (Bt) cotton varieties in the 1990s, followed by transgenic herbicide tolerant cotton varieties in the 2000s.

Growers and industry collaborate with biotechnology providers and researchers to improve the technology iteratively. Crucially, all parties worked together to create, enforce and maintain the all-important accompanying resistance management plans required to ensure the biotechnology’s effectiveness was maintained as part of an integrated pest management strategy.

This article outlines the development of the various biotechnologies in use in the Australian cotton industry from the 1990s through to the present day, the accompanying resistance management plans (RMPs), and the positive outcomes it has produced for growers, industry, the environment and the community.

$12.10


FPJ1402G - Marshall, T (2017), Why are Genetic Modification and Organic Incompatible?

FPJ1402G - Marshall, T (2017), Why are Genetic Modification and Organic Incompatible?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Autumn 2017, pp. 53-8, Surry Hills, Australia.

Organic farmers operate in compliance with national and international standards that forbid the conscious or negligent use of genetic modification (GM). The organic community applies the precautionary principle to all inputs and practices, and has yet to see compelling evidence that GM is an appropriate technology for solving multi-factorial production problems. Organic growers are especially sceptical that GM can reliably produce the promised benefits without genetic drift and other costs that could harm their production system. The organic world is unlikely to accept use of GM or GM contamination until much more thorough epidemiological tests prove its safety. In the meantime organic growers are satisfied that their holistic environmental approach, scientifically informed but empirically driven organic management methods and natural inputs are the best way to sustainably and responsibly feed the world.

$12.10


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