Initiative on science-based information on agricultural biotechnology commended

    20 February 2014

    Thursday 20 February 2014 (Canberra) – Today’s launch by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA) of a public information campaign on coexistence of farming is essential to ensure the Australian public has balanced, credible science-based information on biotechnology.

    “The science of agricultural biotechnology is well established and clear, as are the current and future economic and environmental benefits of agricultural biotechnology innovation,” Matthew Cossey, Chief Executive of CropLife Australia said today.

    “This initiative by ABCA is especially valuable and important at a time when there is significant public discussion on these issues, some of which is not based on fact or evidence in any way.

    “CropLife Australia commends ABCA’s initiative to provide the Australian community with scientific facts and evidence. It is especially important during a time when many activist groups and individuals with specific political agendas are actively spreading misleading information and seeking to create unnecessary conflict between farmers.

    “Every legitimate scientific and regulatory body that has examined the science-based evidence has arrived at the conclusion that approved genetically modified (GM) crops are as safe as their conventional counterparts. This includes the World Health Organisation, the Australian Academy of Science, the European Commission, the American National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Medicine and many more.

    “Farmers are facing increasingly extreme and unpredictable climatic conditions, diminishing natural resources, and our available arable land is shrinking. Without access to the latest technologies, Australian farmers will miss out on the environmental and economic benefits GM crops are already bringing to farmers across the globe.

    “In 2012 alone, the use of GM crops globally was responsible for savings in CO2 emissions of 27 billion kg; that is the equivalent of removing 12 million cars from the road for one year. The use of GM crops has also reduced water use in some cropping by up to 32 per cent and significantly reduced inputs such as pesticides by up to 86 per cent in some crops.

    “We need to do everything we can to ensure Australian farmers have access to the same safe, effective tools and technologies as their international competitors. We need to make sure they can access a variety of markets for high quality produce, without being subjected to uniquely irrational and unreasonable standards.

    “The plant science industry urges facts and science-based evidence to be the basis of important public decisions pertaining to agriculture in the future, for the sake of farmers, the environment and the economy, and global food security” concluded Mr Cossey. To make an informed decision visit

    Contact: Jaelle Bajada (Manager – Public Affairs)  Ph: 02 6230 6399  Mob: 0410 491 261