Coexistence between organic farmers and those that grow genetically modified crops is a big challenge but it is possible in Australia. That’s according to Nuffield Scholar and Western Australian farmer from Wongan Hills, Jemma Salder.
Salder recently travelled to a number of countries looking at how the industries worked with each other. While she says the two can coexist, she suggests the strict zero tolerance standard for the presence of GM material in Australian organic produce may need to be relaxed if the organic industry is to survive.
“In Australia organic producers have to adhere to a zero per cent tolerance to the presence of GM at any stage of the production process, it really makes it a difficult tolerance to stick to, zero per cent tolerance in life is almost impossible, especially in agriculture,” she said. “It’s easy to say from the outside looking in, I’m not an organic producer, but I think that a zero per cent tolerance in agriculture is just not sustainable.”
“We’ve all got to be flexible, it’s up to them what decisions they make but I think they’ll be perhaps putting their industry at jeopardy if they don’t have a serious look at it.”
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