Put politics aside and support new GM Bill: GPSA

Dec 03, 2019

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone will introduce the Genetically Modified Crops Management (Designated Area) Amendment Bill 2019 to Parliament this week, which will designate Kangaroo Island as the only place in South Australia where the GM moratorium will exist from 1 January until it expires on 1 September, 2025 as per current arrangements.

GPSA CEO Caroline Rhodes said the Bill will apply pressure to all sides of politics to form a policy position on GM crops, rather than hide behind regulatory procedure.

Labor and SA-Best sided with the Greens in the Upper House last week to support Greens MLC Mark Parnell’s disallowance motion, preventing growers on SA’s mainland from being able to access GM crops next year.

“GPSA calls upon SA-Best and Labor to put politics aside, listen to the science and economic evidence, and back this long overdue reform for the benefit of regional South Australia,” Ms Rhodes said.

“This issue needs to be settled this week to give farmers certainty for the 2020 season.

“South Australian agriculture has been unfairly stigmatised by anti-GM ideology for the past 15 years.

Ms Rhodes said it was time Parliament focused on those directly impacted by the GM ban and allowed farmers to make their own choice about adopting GM crops approved safe by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.

“Not only do growers want certainty, they want the freedom of choice to grow the crops which best suit their individual farming systems,” she said.

“The disallowance motion only passed last week on a technical procedural argument.

“The momentum is behind South Australian growers and as we have seen from public consultation, the weight of public opinion is in favour of growers having freedom of choice.

“GPSA will be seeing this debate through until the very end. We will continue to engage with representatives from both sides of the political divide to achieve a sensible outcome for growers.”

ENDS

For media interviews, contact Alistair Lawson, AgCommunicators, 0448 400 606 or Leighton McDonald-Stuart, GPSA, 0448 163 045.


All media releases