The biggest names from both sides of the divisive agricultural discussion on Genetic Modification (GM) are set to electrify 

the Great Debate at the 2013 AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence.

“The four speakers involved have been handpicked for their passionate involvement in the GM debate, and we look forward to hearing their views on this controversial discussion,” said AUSVEG Public Affairs Manager, William Churchill.
AUSVEG is the leading Horticultural Body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
The Great Debate will take place as a major attraction of the AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence, to be held at Jupiters Gold Coast from 30 May – 1 June. The Great Debate will be held on Saturday 1 June, and will be commencing at 11.50am.
Confirmed participants include industry and government representatives, all of whom share the passion for GM, though are divided by its application.
Debating for the use of GM will be Ms Paula Fitzgerald, Manager of Biotechnology at Dairy Australia and Executive Director at Agrifood Awareness, Professor T.J. Higgins, who is also an Honorary Research Fellow at CSIRO’s Plant Industry department.
In her position as Manager of Biotechnology, Ms Fitzgerald has long encouraged industry uptake of GM for both economic, as well as social benefits. Her input from the viewpoint of the dairy industry should prove particularly informative in a horticultural context.
Professor Higgins is currently involved in researching the application of gene technology for plant improvement at CSIRO, currently he is exploring the possibility of refining the nutritional value of plants through GM.
Debating against the use of GM will be Mr Scott Kinnear, Director and co-founder at the Safe Food Foundation and Institute, and Dr Maarten Stapper, Director at BioLogic AgFood.
With over twenty years of practical industry experience as a director and owner of the Safe Food Foundation, Mr Kinnear is a pivotal figure in the realm of organic foods.
Dr Maarten Stapper has long served as a strong advocate of biological-organic farming systems. He is also a former member of the CSIRO.
“We are particularly excited to host both current and former CSIRO members from either side of the GM debate. Given the passion that the panel members hold for the topic, AUSVEG is confident that the Great Debate speakers will not only educate, but also excite our attendees,” said Mr Churchill.
As the biggest event in horticulture, the AUSVEG National Convention celebrates the achievements of the last 12 months and brings vegetable and potato growers from around the country together to experience new technologies, ideas and share business skills, making it a must for every horticultural producer.
For more information on the AUSVEG National Convention, or to register online, please visit
Images of speakers are available through the media contact below on request.
MEDIA CONTACT: William Churchill – Public Affairs Manager, AUSVEG.
Mob: 0411 166 748 Ph: (03) 9822 0388 Email: