South Australia’s leadership split over decision to lift GMO crop ban

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Credit: Friends of the Earth

The Opposition [Dec. 3] voted against Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone’s legislative bid to scrap the GM ban passed by the former Labor government, after his attempt to do so via regulation was quashed by the Upper House [the last week of Nov. 2019].

But the Bill passed the Lower House on the Government’s numbers and its fate will be decided in the Upper House, likely [the week of Dec 8].

Labor has again opted to oppose the legislation on procedural grounds – citing the lack of notice before the hastily-drafted Bill was tabled – but the party is strongly split on the policy itself.

[Editor’s note: To learn more, listen to: Podcast: How activists and politicians derailed South Australia’s attempt to embrace GMO crops]

Related article:  Could genetic engineering be a valued tool against climate change?

Shadow Minister Eddie Hughes – the party’s spokesman on the issue and only rural MP – told InDaily today: “I think, longer term, Labor needs to have an open mind when it comes to GM.”

Asked if it was correct that he was personally pro-GM – as party insiders have asserted – he said: “In terms of general principle, I accept the science – so that would be a fair summation.”

However, his frontbench predecessor and Left-faction colleague … Leon Bignell, who extended the GM ban as minister – is firmly against ending the moratorium …. [T]he growth is all in organic and non-GM – why would we give up that advantage?”

Read full, original article: Labor needs “open mind” on GM ban, says shadow minister

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