Ending GM-free status betrays SA parliament and people

The South Australian ban on commercial Genetically Manipulated (GM) canola until 2025 has broad public and farmer support. It should remain in place as parliament intended.

“The SA government’s plan to end the GM ban by amending regulations would betray the parliament and the people of the state,” says Gene Ethics Director, Bob Phelps.

“The present Select Committee Inquiry into SA GM-free should be allowed to run its course and report to the parliament before any proposed changes are made to the moratorium.”

“We call on the parliament to stand by its moratorium on Roundup tolerant GM canola.”

“The winners from lifting the GM-free ban would be foreign seed and agrochemical companies and the losers South Australia’s farmers and shoppers.”

“Keeping Kangaroo Island GM-free so it can continue producing GM-free products to earn premiums is clear proof of tangible GM-free benefits.”

“Exempting an island from GM canola so it can reap the benefits of GM-free cropping also confirms that GM poses contamination threats to neighbours and supply chains.”

“That’s why Tasmania’s Liberal Government announced last week that their island will remain GM-free till 2029.”

“Farmers who choose to grow Roundup herbicide tolerant GM canola will pay more for seed, segregation and shipping their product, and it will be discounted.”

“The discount for GM canola vs GM-free varieties in WA last week was $105/tonne, and GM-free premiums of up to $50/tonne are also paid in Victoria and NSW.”

“Canola is just 2% of all revenue from the SA’s broad-acre crops so the profits claimed for growing GM are grossly inflated.”

“The state government should stay GM-free and get behind farmers and food businesses to earn substantial GM-free premiums in Australian and overseas markets.”

“We encourage all South Australians to say “NO!” to GM canola during the Minister’s consultation, and back the parliament’s decision to stay GM-free until 2025,” Mr Phelps concludes.

/Public Release. View in full here.