Western Australia organic certification council considers increasing GM tolerance limits

A decision on proposed changes to genetically modified material tolerance level in organic produce could be made by August. Recently the WA Department of Agriculture and Food wrote to the organic industry standards and certification council asking for the standard to be lifted from the current limit of zero, up to 0.9 per cent.

The request follows the legal battle for compensation between organic farmer Steve Marsh who alleged crops on his Great Southern farm were contaminated by genetically modified canola grown by his neighbour Michael Baxter. The court ruled in Mr Baxter’s favour however Mr Marsh’s lawyers yesterday lodged a notice of appeal in the Supreme Court.

“The national standards sub committee held a meeting recently, the accepted the application from the West Australian Department of Agriculture regarding their submission and that submission is now going through the process of deliberation,” secretariat Marg Will from the organic industry standards and certification council says.

The committee meets four times a year with their next sitting in August, when Ms Will says it is expected the new and relevant information will be deliberated. However she stresses that they would never want the standards to pit farmer against farmer.

Read the full, original article: Organic group considering changes to GM tolerance

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