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Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s eligibility for tax-free donations has been interrogated in light of an illegal protest that damaged publicly funded Genetically Modified (GM) crop research.
Senior Greenpeace officials appeared at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment’s inquiry into the environmental organisations register in Sydney in late November.
At the Sydney hearing, NSW farmer and National Party MP John Cobb asked why the group’s written inquiry submission named several environmental campaigns but ignored a publicity stunt in July 2011 that saw GM wheat trials destroyed at CSIRO Canberra.
During the incident, Greenpeace protestors trespassed on the CSIRO facilities and whipper-snippered the scientific crop trials.
They then distributed media statements, visions and images of the protest while denouncing GM crop safety and future development of biotech wheat products.
But a significant public and political backlash – including from farm groups – resulted from the activists destroying publicly funded scientific research designed to establish the technology’s efficacy and potential health or environmental benefits.
Two Greenpeace volunteers were subsequently charged over the trespass incident and received suspended prison sentences and a $280,000 fine.
Queensland Nationals Senator Matthew Canavan has told the inquiry he believes Greenpeace should be struck-off the Register of Environmental Organisations due to the CSIRO incident and other groups engaging in illegal and organised protesting.
Read full, original post: Greenpeace under tax-free fire