South Australia hope for genetically modified crops

GRAIN producers in Victoria and Western Australia hope a change in government in South Australia will clear a block on the trade of genetically modified crops and seed.

A moratorium on growing GM canola in South Australia means GM seed cannot be transported through the state, making it expensive for WA growers who want the seed from eastern states.

But the election of a Liberal Government in South Australia on the weekend may signal an end to the ban.

In opposition the Liberals committed to an independent review of the GM moratorium on growing if it was to win the lection.

The moratorium was extended by the Labor Government last year to 2025.

Then Opposition agriculture spokesman David Ridgeway labelled the extension as “crazy” and said the decision on whether GM crops should be allowed should be left to experts, not Parliament.

He pledged the Liberals to commissioning a study on the issue to examine the costs and benefits of growing GM crops in the state.

Earlier this month a report showed there was no benefit to grain growers or any other commodities in keeping the moratorium.

The report by market analysts Mecardo, and commissioned by Grain Producers South Australia and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia, found no financial reason to continue the moratorium.

GPSA chairman Wade Dabinett said the report supported GPSA’s call for an independent review.

West Australian Grain Growers chair Doug Smith said his state would benefit from the ban being lifted.

Grain Producers Australia will call for an immediate exemption for the transport of GM seed through SA.

If South Australia was to lift the moratorium it would leave Tasmania as the only grain growing state where GM canola was banned.

-Published in The Weekly Times.  See original article link here.