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South Australia seeks to lift ban on mainland GM crops

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South Australia seeks to lift ban on mainland GM crops

South Australia’s mainland farmers will be able to grow genetically-modified (GM) food crops next year.

Key points:

  • South Australia’s grain and livestock groups have welcomed the State Government’s decision to allow farmers to grow GM crops from next year
  • The Primary Industries Minister says it gives grain growers more choice
  • The ban will however continue on Kangaroo Island and Gene Ethics says that proves the “tangible benefits” of GM-free crops

 

South Australia has announced its intention to be the last mainland state to lift its GM moratorium, but Kangaroo Island will remain GM-free.

The moratorium, introduced by Labor in 2003, was due to extend until 2025 but the Liberal Government plans to overturn that.

The decision to lift the 16-year ban was made following an independent review by Emeritus Professor Kym Anderson earlier this year.

Professor Anderson estimated the cost of the moratorium to SA’s grain industry was about $33 million since 2004 for canola alone.

Professor Anderson’s review found that Kangaroo Island was the only region in South Australia able to demonstrate evidence a GM-ban delivered market benefits.

The South Australian Parliament’s Legislative Council has also established a Select Committee to inquire into, and report on the moratorium of the cultivation of GM crops in South Australia.

That committee has not yet reported its findings.

A statutory consultation period will now go for six weeks to give feedback on the Government’s announcement.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said he planned to introduce the legislation to Parliament in early December.

“This is about giving our farmers, our grain growers the choice, it’s not dictating what they can and can’t do,” Mr Whetstone said.

 

Originally published by ABC News.

 


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