TO THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ASSEMBLED IN PARLIAMENT:
The petition of certain residents of the State of Victoria, including but not restricted to the Shire of Yarra, Ranges draws to the attention of the House the licence issued by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) that authorises trials of Genetically Engineered blue roses to take place in the Shire of Yarra Ranges.
The OTGR, auspiced by the Department of Health and Ageing, has issued licence number DIR 060/2005 to Florigene P/L a subsidiary of Suntory Corporation of Japan, for the release of three imported rose lines that have been genetically engineered to alter flower colour. The trial would continue in the Shire of Yarra Ranges until April 2009.
These trials would undermine the Yarra Ranges Shire Council’s GE-free policy which precludes the growing of genetically engineered organisms in the municipality. The policy was passed in 2001 with the popular support of most residents living in the shire. If the trials are allowed to proceed they would threaten markets for our top quality clean and green horticultural products, which depend on the shire’s GE-free reputation and may prevent growers from opening new markets, especially for organic produce.
Your petitioners therefore request the House and its individual members to take all measures within their powers to rescind the licence for trials of Genetically Engineered roses in the Shire of Yarra Ranges.