Australia has welcomed the use of genetically engineered (GE) crops, and farmers have found particular benefit from broad acre canola and cotton cultivation. However, the benefits were not realized by some states because of moratoriums imposed by local governments.
Farmers in South Australia (SA) grow wheat, canola and pulses, along with wine grapes, olives and other horticultural crops. They would like the option to grow GE canola, as it may offer some important benefits. More importantly, new gene-editing technologies may permit rapid response to new threats and help tackle current issues like drought, frost, and pathogens. Fortunately, a science-minded change in government has led to discussion of removing the ban. University of Florida plant geneticist Kevin Folta speaks with four agricultural leaders from Grain Producers SA, a non-profit organization on the front lines of the battle for access to GE crops in the state.
Tanya Morgan, Adrian McCabe, Wade Dabinette and Dion Woolford represent Grain Producers SA, a nonprofit promoting the economic and environmental sustainability of South Australian grain growing. Follow them on Twitter @GrainProducerSA
The Talking Biotech podcast, produced by Kevin Folta, is available for listening or subscription: