Yet it is alarming that an ex-politician, who has been reported to have intimate working knowledge of government human health issues, policies and procedures has very quickly joined a pharmaceutical giant as their political lobbyist. The required amnesty for time to lapse has been disregarded making a farce of our legislation. The corporation will in all likelihood benefit from the politician’s knowledge and understanding of how the system works. In fact these pharmaceutical giants do get favourable and profitable conditions set by future government policy. And mostly the electorate accepts it. Why? Because whatever policy is advocated by the government is generally given a favourable report in the news.
Well, what has that got to do with farming you may ask?
The pharmaceutical industry has close connections to the farm chemical industry; in fact many companies have a foot in each camp. These ex-government politicians become influential lobbyists and in fact it is reported that Monsanto actually had their own people elected to US Congress when the important decisions were being made on the introduction of GM crops. They are also reported to currently have numerous journalists worldwide to write articles immediately to counteract any damaging publicity that appears in the news. You will also discover that many scientists and leading farmers also have favourable commercial arrangements with Monsanto to act as their spokes person.
It is this similar effective lobbying that they exert on parliamentarians and key government officials. For example the Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke told the ABARE Rural Outlook conference on March 2 that: “Research and development needs to look at all of the technology, not close its mind to any areas of biotechnology including genetically modified crops. I am pleased that the WA Government have now lifted their moratorium on the use of genetically modified crops. I always get back to the argument, ‘But consumers don’t want it’. And it is true, if you conduct an opinion poll: do you want to eat genetically modified food, you will get people saying no… In the same way if you asked people the question: should we ever hold back on finding better science to make sure we can feed a future global population of nine billion people, people will again answer no. I have no time for a moral argument against genetically modified food when it’s competing with a moral argument for feeding the world’s population. We should close our mind to none of the technology.”
Well might we ask then: Where is the research and development funding for biological farming which will also feed the world? Dr Maarten Stapper gained no support from CSIRO to pursue his findings. Why? Was it because there were threats of funding cuts if he persisted or no gains for commerce in the pursuit of biological farming?
It is clear to us that our supposedly democratic government is more answerable to industrial commercial lobbyists than it is to farmers or the people.