Australian farmers need to improve public opinion of GM crops

| | July 17, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A greater effort is needed from farmers to improve mainstream attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) crops, says Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia chairman and NSW Farmers guest speaker Ken Matthews. He said GM crops had many benefits for consumers and the environment, as well as farmers.

“I’m a believer in agricultural biotechnology, I think it’s just so important for our future that it’s time people took a position on bio technology,” Mr Matthews said.

Mr Matthews was keen to see greater public support from farmers for GM crops because it potentially reduced farm input costs, faster, more accurate diagnostic tests, improvements to quality and consistency and also improvement of novel features such as colour and taste. However, environmental benefits were the biggest factor he felt could help improve the understanding and acceptance of GM crops.

The four steps he believes need to be done are:

  1. It’s incumbent on those people who see the potential in biotechnology to build understanding of its benefits;
  2. Confidence also needs building in the regulatory regime in Australia;
  3. Trust needs building around biotechnology;
  4. Ethical concerns need to be respected.

Read the full, original article: Take a stand on GM

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