Australian organic farmer loses landmark GMO contamination case
Canola is grown for its seed, which is crushed for the oil used in margarine, cooking oils, salad oils and edible oil blends. Australia sells most of its exports to Europe and is the world's second-largest canola exporter after Canada, which produces mainly GMO canola.
Unlike the United States, the European Union and Japan, which allow trace amounts of GMO crops in organic foods in acknowledgement of contamination by wind or pollen transfer, Australia maintains a zero threshold.
However, organic proponents say Australia then faces the prospect of losing its position on world markets as a strict organic producer at a time when demand for GMO-free food is increasing around the world, particularly in Asia.
Justice Martin said in his judgment that decertification of Marsh's Eagle Rest farm appeared to be a "gross overreaction" by Australia's organic certification body.
Only some of Marsh's organic wheat crop contained some GM canola, which could have been removed, he said.
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