Grain Producers SA welcomes release of GM review

Feb 20, 2019

Grain Producers SA has welcomed today’s release of the independent review of South Australia’s moratorium on the cultivation of Genetically Modified (GM) food crops report.

GPSA Chair Wade Dabinett said the review was long overdue and had been part of GPSA’s policy for some time. The review also formed a key part of GPSA’s policy statement in the lead up to the March 2018 state election.

“We are pleased to see the review recognises the cost of the moratorium to one of South Australia’s largest industries. This cost is conservatively estimated at $33 million since 2004 for canola alone, he said.

“That opportunity cost of maintaining the moratorium will only grow as new GM varieties from other crops are made available, such as super-high-oleic safflower and omega 3 canola.

“GPSA has consistently argued the moratorium offers little in the way of trade and marketing benefits to the majority of agricultural producers in SA, and only removes the option of using safe and effective GM tools.

“We strongly believe that growers deserve the freedom to grow the cereal, legume, and oilseed varieties that best fit their farming system. The report makes it clear that the industry is able to manage segregation of GM and non-GM varieties.

“Growers’ choice to remain GM-free on their farm will be retained should the moratorium be lifted.

“As the report makes clear, there is no premium for grain from SA despite it being the only mainland state with a GM crop moratorium.

“The report also recognises there are additional benefits from GM crops such as reduced weed control costs and increased yields which have not been quantified.

“The current moratorium on the commercial cultivation of GM crops has run its full course. The Government must now begin the process of removing this handbrake on our industry.

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