Greenpeace raided!

johnboy 21 July 2011 45

ACT Policing executed a search warrant on the head office of Greenpeace Australia in Ultimo this morning (Thursday, July 21).

The search warrant was executed in relation to an alleged trespass and property damage at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Ginninderra Experiment Station in Canberra last week (Thursday, July 14).

An amount of property was seized as evidence during the warrant. Part of that evidence will undergo forensic analysis.

The warrant follows on from police interviews of two persons of interest in Sydney yesterday.

No arrests have been made, and investigations are ongoing.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]


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Classified Classified 10:05 am 25 Jul 11

Mr_Shab said :

If Greenpeace think that we’re ever going to feed the world in the 21st century using organic agriculture, they are seriously deluded. It’s all very well for well-fed westerners to harp on about the inestimable benefits of organic produce; but cheap, conventionally produced wheat keeps the world fed. Organically-produced food is nice (you’ll see me out at the markets or in my Canberra Organic Growers Society garden on the weekend), but it’s very much a rich person’s luxury.

This is the best comment of the thread.

fgzk fgzk 9:53 am 25 Jul 11

Mr Evil said :

Monsanto only wants to help the world – what’s so wrong with that? I trust Monsanto with my life and I respect them for everything they’ve ever done.

What’s not to like about a company that gave us 2, 4, 5 T, Agent Orange – and who knows that the best way to get rid of dioxin generated by the production of 2, 4, 5 T is to dump it into the sea off New Zealand’s coast.

God bless the corporations!

In Australia, the company that became Nufarm produced “agent purple” under license from Monsanto. Same stuff as agent orange. All the houses in the streets would put plastic flowers in their front yard as everything else would die. In the 90s Greenpeace found the site being used as a pony paddock and antiques business. The ground was still contaminated. After testing the site was sealed off. It tested the 5th most toxic site in the world, at the time, for the class of chemicals tested. These are very persistent chemicals.

GM offers the same chance for pollution and unwanted byproducts. Nothing changes, it just gets worse, people become complacent.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 6:46 pm 23 Jul 11

Monsanto only wants to help the world – what’s so wrong with that? I trust Monsanto with my life and I respect them for everything they’ve ever done.

What’s not to like about a company that gave us 2, 4, 5 T, Agent Orange – and who knows that the best way to get rid of dioxin generated by the production of 2, 4, 5 T is to dump it into the sea off New Zealand’s coast.

God bless the corporations!

milkman milkman 11:40 am 23 Jul 11

Stevian said :

Mr_Shab said :

Regardless of Monsanto’s history of questionable corporate ethics, tarring them with the Satan brush and refusing to contenance anything associated with them ignores the fact that they have managed to research and bring to market technology that has (IMHO) had some serious environmental benefits.

Like what? The examples you’ve quoted are just spin. Monsanto works for Monsanto’s benefit first, last and only. Anything else is purely incidental.

Just spin? So is your hysteria.

fgzk fgzk 9:35 am 23 Jul 11
Stevian Stevian 11:32 pm 22 Jul 11

Mr_Shab said :

Regardless of Monsanto’s history of questionable corporate ethics, tarring them with the Satan brush and refusing to contenance anything associated with them ignores the fact that they have managed to research and bring to market technology that has (IMHO) had some serious environmental benefits.

Like what? The examples you’ve quoted are just spin. Monsanto works for Monsanto’s benefit first, last and only. Anything else is purely incidental.

Jethro Jethro 9:26 pm 22 Jul 11

hoody said :

Oh and one more thing….I’m not against GM crops at all based upon what appears to be currently known. I’m concerned about the complete control of a food source by a profit motivated company. The endpoint of patents on GM crops is that one day, you will only be able to buy a monsanto seed, it produces for one season and natural, self reproducing varieties of the plant will have long been bred out of existence.

That

Bluesman Bluesman 7:51 pm 22 Jul 11

Yeah nice of Greenpeace to use Tyveks suits, manufactured under license from Dupont made from crude oil. Hypocrites much? You do realise that more money goes to the growers than the seed companies. If you think wheat in Australia is sterile you obviously have been reading some pretty strange books. Most of the value in wheat is from coventional breeding. Do you think the decrease in the use of toxic sprays from the introduction of GM-cotton varieties is a bad thing? Does greenpeace understand that food demand will rise by 75% by 2050. As for foods that potentially cause allergies lol “Eight foods account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions. They are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat” going to take a lot of whippersnippers. GM food will be labeled you won’t have to eat it. I will !

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 7:12 pm 22 Jul 11

The greater part of Greenpeace’s campaign against Monsanto’s worse excesses is certainly to be lauded. Monsanto have a record of some pretty seriously shady behaviour. One more than one occasion they’ve deserved a very serious slapping. But as has been mentioned, we’re not talking about Monsanto here – we’re talking about the CSIRO. There seems to be a logical falacy amongst the anti-GM brigade that All GM = Monsanto = The Devil.

Regardless of Monsanto’s history of questionable corporate ethics, tarring them with the Satan brush and refusing to contenance anything associated with them ignores the fact that they have managed to research and bring to market technology that has (IMHO) had some serious environmental benefits.

For example, Monsanto’s much maligned Roundup-ready canola is a godsend to Australian agriculture. It massively reduces herbicide use, fertiliser use and tillage (a serious boon for Australia’s fragile soils). Family of mine on the land absolutely love it – they only have to spray herbicide once or twice (instead of 3-4 times) and can use minimum tillage to keep the carbon and macronutrients in their soils. Not to mention the fact that the strains of canola they make roundup-ready have so much hybrid vigour that they yield like crazy.

If Greenpeace think that we’re ever going to feed the world in the 21st century using organic agriculture, they are seriously deluded. It’s all very well for well-fed westerners to harp on about the inestimable benefits of organic produce; but cheap, conventionally produced wheat keeps the world fed. Organically-produced food is nice (you’ll see me out at the markets or in my Canberra Organic Growers Society garden on the weekend), but it’s very much a rich person’s luxury.

If Greenpeace wants to focus on anything, it should be how to get rid of old-fashioned, wasteful, and environmentally destructive farming practices like over-tillage, over-irrigation, overuse of chemicals and water wastage. Part of that is developing crop strains that can deal with (thanks to climate change) increasing environmental stresses like frost, drought, salt, weeds and storms. That means GM (as well as more traditional crop breeding practices) and modern farming techniques.

Ahh, yes – but you can’t raise money or scare the anxious suburban mummy brigade into donning tyvek overalls and dust masks (Hazmat gear, my arse) with sensible agriculture reform, can you.

milkman milkman 6:49 pm 22 Jul 11

What amazes me is how people simply assume that because the trial involved GM plants that Monsanto must be pulling the strings. FFS, this is the CSIRO doing research! Sure, they may be collaborating with Monsanto, just like they’re collaborating with other organisations.

Greenpeace are a bunch of idiots for doing this. I hope the law nails them.

hoody hoody 6:38 pm 22 Jul 11

It’s true, there are other biotech companies patenting food crops, they are on the Monsanto ‘to buy soon’ list. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve had a couple of sav-blancs.

justin heywood justin heywood 6:17 pm 22 Jul 11

fgzk said :

[

The genes and modification are secret. Its a trail of a secret thing.

Yeah right. Don’t tell any of your numpty mates fgzk, but all the information you could want is freely available here:

http://www.ogtr.gov.au/internet/ogtr/publishing.nsf/Content/map

If you follow the links, you can find out what genes are involved in the trial in more detail than you could understand, who is doing it, the purpose, the size and location of the trials, and much else that I’m sure you don’t want to know.
But as I say, don’t tell anyone, ’cause ‘it’s a secret’..
___________________________________________________________________________________

But I’m confused. All this fuss is ostensibly about GM, but all the talk is about a great American multinational bogeyman (Monsanto). So I ask you:

Is Monsanto the actual target of this campaign, and if so, why the smoke and mirrors with the GM?

If the real target is GM, not Monsanto, why does that company feature in all Greenpeace publicity about this event when it has at best a tenuous relationship to the trial that was destroyed?

Could it possibly be that this is more about ideology than any genuine concern for health and safety? Surely not.

hoody hoody 5:56 pm 22 Jul 11

Oh and one more thing….I’m not against GM crops at all based upon what appears to be currently known. I’m concerned about the complete control of a food source by a profit motivated company. The endpoint of patents on GM crops is that one day, you will only be able to buy a monsanto seed, it produces for one season and natural, self reproducing varieties of the plant will have long been bred out of existence.

hoody hoody 5:38 pm 22 Jul 11

Hey Ergo, go read the book, but I should have been clearer about my point. Gene patents on food is a dangerous slope. When a farmer can’t do anything but buy monsanto’s (or any company’s) seed because last year’s seed is deliberately sterile then why is this a good thing? Does anybody think that a monopoly on global food production is furthering the human cause? I realise there is a world out there, sorry for gloating about my mostly free veggies, I think it’s trendy to save money on food I can grow myself.

The_Bulldog The_Bulldog 5:21 pm 22 Jul 11

I don’t have a particular interest or view regarding GM crops – but this has interested me enough to do some reading. On that front Greenpeace have probably achieved their objective in raising awareness.

What’s challenging is that whilst my awareness has been raised, it has (further) negatively impacted on my view of Greenpeace. Trespass and property destruction is not exactly a peaceful message – and clearly an unacceptable escalation in the way which they (like all other lobby and interest roups) should interact with Government and Corporate entities. Setting the GM issue aside for a moment, how might we view the Shooters Party breaking into the Police compund and “re-distributing” surrendered or seized firearms?

This kind of escalation is not productive, or required, in Canberra (or Australia). Frankly, Greenpeace are fooling themselves if they think this action is beneficial or sustainable here, or within the international community. I’m sure some of us will remember the last time there was an “escalation” in the interaction between Greenpeace and the French Government. Life jackets anyone?

puggy puggy 4:20 pm 22 Jul 11

fgzk said :

CSIRO says “various gene combinations in the trial were subject to commercial-in-confidence agreements to protect the interests of various government research agencies and a US company, Arcadia Biosciences.

The genes and modification are secret. Its a trail of a secret thing.

Greenpeace implies that nobody knows that the reserach is being carried out. It does not imply that specific gene manipulations are being kept secret. The specific details of any new research, in any area, are kept secret. It’s normal so that perhaps the organisation can later derive some benefit from the work. It works this way even inside a university. The people that need to know, including regulators, do know.

Check out the details of the licence, specifically, the full risk assesment. There are many details in there that suggest a fair amount of transparency. The same information is available for all trial sites, even those for Monsanto!

fgzk fgzk 3:15 pm 22 Jul 11

p1 said :

fgzk said :

The genes and modification are secret. Its a trail of a secret thing….

Do the Colonels Secret Herbs and Spices (commercial in confidence, just like the exact mix of flavours in Coke), make any trial of new food and beverages they undertake “Secret” by your reasoning?

Yes.

p1 p1 3:02 pm 22 Jul 11

fgzk said :

The genes and modification are secret. Its a trail of a secret thing….

Do the Colonels Secret Herbs and Spices (commercial in confidence, just like the exact mix of flavours in Coke), make any trial of new food and beverages they undertake “Secret” by your reasoning?

fgzk fgzk 2:42 pm 22 Jul 11

puggy said :

fgzk said :

That’s the thing with “pure fact’s”. They don’t exist.

The facts I’m refering to in this case are, for example, Greenpeace’s claim that the trials are secret. They are not and information on these experiments has been publically available since 2009 (when the original licence was issued). There is also the claim that the wheat will be fed to humans without trials on animals. That is a false claim. It is this type of thing that tarnishes this particular action. I can agree that “facts” about the benefits of GM and the like are very much debatable.

I read the things about potatoes in Russia and well, I don’t know what legislation they have in place to regulate GM experiments and trials. If it’s lax, it makes it easier to launch protest action as well as do dodgy GM work. However, I do know we have legislation in Australia to tightly regulate GM experiments and trials. It’s prosecution under this legislation that Greenpeace is banking on avoiding because they attacked a government organisation (because of the cost, the bad look if a government goes after a “mum” etc.). The trespass and damage stuff is, no pun intended, small potatoes.

Ok from the top.
Puggy said” Greenpeace’s claim that the trials are secret.”

CSIRO says “various gene combinations in the trial were subject to commercial-in-confidence agreements to protect the interests of various government research agencies and a US company, Arcadia Biosciences.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/gm-wheat-trial-begins-amid-secrecy-20110527-1f8hl.html#ixzz1Snyi0H00

The genes and modification are secret. Its a trail of a secret thing.

Puggy said “There is also the claim that the wheat will be fed to humans without trials on animals”

Trials on animals have already taken place. I think the point of this trial is to feed humans. It would be hard to prove if the same genes being used have been trailed on animals as the gene modifications are secret.

CSIRO is a legitimate target.

Erg0 Erg0 2:12 pm 22 Jul 11

nobody said :

There have been a few stories on this subject in The RiotACT recently, and they have attracted a lot of negative reflexive comments, almost like a flock of Tony Abbott parrots.

Yeah, that’s not pejorative at all.

1. A lot of the “negative reflexive comments” relate to Greenpeace’s methods, rather than the GM wheat debate itself. Maybe they should think about that when they’re formulating their strategy.

2. Why do you assume they’re reflexive? For all you know, the people commenting have doctorates in the relevant field. I, for one, am limiting my comment on GM wheat itself, because I know I’m not an expert and am instead (gasp) trusting our scientists and regulatory bodies, who are experts, to get it right.

This article in Wikipedia has interesting arguments for and against GM Wheat.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenic_wheat

I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a Wikipedia article with a “For/Against/Conclusion” format before. Doesn’t seem very encyclopedic, though I’m sure that many wars of ideology were waged to get it to this point.

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