South Australia considers repealing GMO crop cultivation ban that has cost farmers $33 million

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Y Mingenew wheat harvest
Farmers harvest their wheat crop in Mingenew, Australia

The South Australian Government will consider overturning a longstanding ban on genetically modified (GM) crops, after a review into the economic consequences of the policy.

South Australia is the only mainland state that does not allow GM crop cultivation.

A review prepared by University of Adelaide agricultural economist Kym Anderson said the ban had cost farmers more than $33 million from 2004 to 2018 and would cost them another $5 million over the next six years.

The report contains 19 findings and the SA Government said a majority of submissions, including those from groups representing SA farmers, “favor the immediate removal” of the moratorium on GM crop production and transport.

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Other key findings revealed there was no price premium for grain from South Australia given its GM-free status and the state’s farmers did not “enjoy better access” to European Union markets.

Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone said the report “debunked myths” about the benefits of the ban.

“Investment in agricultural science has suffered under the moratorium, with the review finding the GM moratorium has discouraged both public and private investment in research and development in this state,” Mr Whetstone said.

Read full, original article: GM crop review finds extending moratorium will cost SA farmers millions

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