Viewpoint: Restrictions on GMOs a ‘catastrophe’ for Australian farmers

|
Farmers harvest their wheat crop in Mingenew, Australia

Onerous and expensive regulations have denied farmers’ access to new and existing Genetically Modified (GM) crop varieties and reduced their profitability while stifling the industry’s capacity to innovate, a regulatory review has been told.

Long-time GM cropping advocate and outspoken WA farmer Bill Crabtree has outlined his chief concerns about the negative social and economic impacts on agriculture, of the heavy-handed legal regime governing farm biotechnology, in a pointed submission to a fresh examination of Australia’s Gene Technology Scheme (GTS).

Mr Crabtree said the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator’s (OGTR) mandate was to ensure the continued protection of human health and safety – one of the review’s primary points of examination.

But he said the “powerful GM tool” has been produced globally for 20 years without causing any harm and could have made “much difference” to Australian agriculture….

Bill Crabtree

“As a passionate supporter and global champion of sustainable no-tillage agriculture, I believe this is a catastrophe for Australian agriculture,” he said while adding the GTS had also stifled agricultural innovation.

“As a practicing farmer and agronomist and a champion for sustainable agriculture and winner of the 2009 Federal McKell Medal, I write to express my frustration over the impact of this regulatory process.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Unfair GM laws a “catastrophe” for Australian agriculture