Review into South Australia’s GM moratorium welcomed by the plant science sector

    15 September 2018

    CropLife Australia, as the national peak industry body for the plant science sector, strongly welcomes today’s announcement by the Hon. Tim Whetstone, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, of an independent review of the state’s GM Moratorium.

    Matthew Cossey, Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, noted the review would be conducted by world-renowned agricultural economist Emeritus Professor Kym Anderson AC.

    Mr Cossey said, “Both the appointment and the review will be welcomed by the entire agricultural sector. The South Australian Government should be commended for delivering on its election promise of conducting a review so that policy decisions are made on evidence and science, and that South Australian farmers are not disadvantaged through continued denial of access to important innovations.

    “This is a constructive approach to ensure a growing South Australian agricultural sector continues to be a key component of the state’s economy. It will ensure all farmers can benefit from important, safe plant science innovation.”

    Earlier this year a report released by independent market analysts Mecardo provided clear evidence that the South Australian GM crop moratorium has not delivered any benefit to the state’s farming sector. It found South Australian farmers had been denied the chance to increase profitability and environmental sustainability by not having access to GM crops.

    Mr Cossey continued, “When comparing similar markets in Victoria and Western Australia, where both GM and non-GM crops are grown, it is clear the GM ban in South Australia does not facilitate any farmer achieving higher prices for any agricultural commodity. It confirms that no other farmers would be disadvantaged, or their premiums compromised in any way, by South Australia’s farmers having access to GM crops.”

    Mr Cossey concluded, “Farmers in other Australian states know the financial gains and the significant environmental benefits that GM crops allow. GM traits in cotton and canola have contributed to a more environmentally sustainable use of insecticides and herbicides. We look forward to the outcome of the review and the state government ensuring its agricultural policies are there to assist all of the state’s farmers.”