Images with permission from Okanagan Specialty Fruits
Slices of non-browning Arctic Apple Golden vs conventional Golden apple. OSF’s non-browning Granny Smith and Golden apples.
cornflakes — we can provide you with a very
“The BarleyMax mutants that are now grown
every seed they produced into Japan. Meanwhile, in
accurate assessment of whether it can be done,
commercially were chance products of the most
Australia, idiotic anti-GM activists were trumpeting
how it can be done and how long it would take.
horrendous mutation-inducing chemicals, and as
that countries like Japan would not accept GM
long as they’re not GM, nobody even thinks to ask
canola — the opposite was actually true.
“We are very confident of the capabilities of our technology, our knowledge of how genes work
“It’s symptomatic of the whole problem in
how they were produced.”
and how we can modify their function. But we’re
Peacock is disappointed with the “undue
Australia. We’d occasionally have a politician taking
just not doing it — our entrepreneurs and investors
attention” that the media and politicians have paid
an interest in the issue — the last-but-one WA
don’t seem to be interested.
to the anti-GM movement in Australia. “They don’t
Minister for Agriculture inspected the GM canola
argue from a factual base, but in emotive, frightening
trials at Cootamundra, went home and lifted the
terms,” he said.
moratorium in WA.
“With regard to BarleyMax, there are three ways to produce a low-GI starch in barley. We can do it with molecular genetics, which is what
“But equally sad, I believe, has been the lack of
“One of the outstanding possibilities for GM
we did to achieve proof of concept at the start of
considered viewpoints from our politicians — for
canola is varieties that CSIRO is now developing here
the most part, they make no attempt to understand
in Canberra that will produce the healthy omega-3
“We can go to the breeders and tell them to
the full potential and facts about GM plants. But
oils that the food industry currently extracts from
run their mutation processes, and tell them the
they do react to all the anti-GM noise because they
particular mutation to look for in the gene — which
are concerned about votes.
is what the breeders did.
“We’re using an established crop to synthesise a
“It’s really disappointing, for example, that we
product of great importance to our personal health,
“Or we can sift through germplasm collections
still don’t have blanket acceptance of GM canola
of wild barley from southern Asia, and find naturally
across Australia. For years, our canola farmers
Dr Peacock said the omega-3-rich GM
occurring examples of the mutation we need.
suffered in the competition with Canadian farmers
canola promises to reduce harvesting pressure
who had GM herbicide-tolerant canola.
on endangered marine fish species — a prospect
“All these approaches target the same mutations in the same gene, yet there is no way
“Canada’s GM varieties were more reliable
we could have sold the GM version in supermarkets.
and offered higher yields, and they were able to sell
10 | LAB+LIFE SCIENTIST - October 2015
and to our market opportunities.”
that anti-GM activists genuinely concerned for the environment should welcome.
www.LabOnline.com.au | www.LifeScientist.com.au