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Wednesday, 25 February 1987
Page: 573

Senator SIDDONS(10.34) —I wish to comment briefly on Senator Watson's claim that scare tactics are being used and that there is no problem about varieties being weakened if they are subject to monopolisation by large companies controlling all the varieties. We have the example of Turkey where a large German company took over all the seed manufacturing. Within a very short time there was virtually no native sugar in Turkey at all. All the native varieties disappeared. Within a few generations, the variety manufactured by the German seed company that had the monopoly in Turkey became so weakened that older varieties of sugar had to be imported. The countryside had to be scoured to see whether there were native varie-ties of sugar in that country. Very nearly the whole sugar industry in Turkey was ruined because of one company having a monopoly and not being prepared in developing sugar varieties to take into account the local varieties because it was less profitable for it to do so. There is that evidence, and many other pieces of evidence could be cited. There are real dangers. The European Community committee that looked into this matter raised that very point-that there is a considerable weakening of the varieties being developed by large multinational seed companies. It is a real concern within the EC.