Inquiry finds no reason for WA GM compensation scheme

    14 February 2019

    CropLife Australia welcomes the WA Parliamentary Committee inquiry report into Mechanisms for compensation for economic loss to farmers in Western Australia caused by contamination by genetically modified material in which evidence and common sense has prevailed.

    CropLife Australia CEO Matthew Cossey said, “I thank the Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs for their work in this inquiry. I’m very pleased, as will be the West Australian farming sector, that the Committee was guided by the evidence and found there is no systemic GM contamination issue in Western Australia and hence no compensation scheme is required.”

    Mr Cossey continued, “This inquiry was brought on by anti-GM activists peddling a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. What the inquiry has found is there is minimal evidence of contamination by GM crops and absolutely no evidence to suggest that farmers have experienced economic loss because of it.

    “This report again reinforces the critical principle of coexistence in farming which is vital for WA farming to grow and become more sustainable into the future.

    “Farmers are the experts when it comes to coexistence of farming practices, and grain handlers the experts at ensuring sound export, storage and handling practices are followed. Growers and handlers have proven their abilities, they should be left to get on with their jobs.

    “Of most significance is the finding: There is no evidence to suggest that economic loss to farmers caused by contamination by genetically modified material is a widespread or systemic problem in Western Australia.”

    Mr Cossey concluded, “West Australian growers have embraced GM crops since 2010 because of the agronomic, economic and environmental benefits they provide. We look forward to more growers being able to make a choice about growing GM crops without the threat of a costly and unnecessary compensation scheme hanging over their heads.”

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