Australian farm group advocates lifting of GMO ban

Leading Australian advocates for genetically modified (GM) crops have called for State moratoriums on the science to be dissolved.

AusBiotech hosted a briefing in WA last week where State-based moratoriums controlling GM crops were labelled a violation of farmers’ property rights.

The meeting highlighted red tape and warned doubling up on nationally focused efforts to provide consistent legislation was holding back WA growers.

Edstar Genetics chief executive officer Ian Edwards, who was involved in writing the national Gene Technology Act 2000, spearheaded the call saying State-specific controls undermined the national act.

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WA growers can grow certain breeds of GM canola under a ministerial exemption granted in 2010.

But Dr Edwards said this exemption was not guaranteed under a new government which presented a lack of security for growers.

Dr Edwards said the Grains Industry Association of WA (GIWA) Grains Industry Strategy 2025+ outlines a desire the WA moratorium be removed in order to meet lofty grains harvesting targets.

“GIWA wants to see a doubling of the grain production in this State and has called for a repeal of the act,” he said.

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“The wheat section of the strategy includes GM wheat as one of four key technologies.

Dr Edwards said a survey of WA growers showed three out of four farmers would consider GM crops if the right traits were available.

Read full original article: Advocates warn GM bans cut farmer rights

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