Tasmania’s GM moratorium extension misguided and a loss for farmers and consumers

    8 August 2019

    The decision of the Tasmanian Government to extend its moratorium on GM crops goes against all independent scientific evidence and is a significant lost opportunity for ensuring a more environmentally sustainable and profitable farming future.

    Matthew Cossey, Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, said, “It is disappointing to see irrational beliefs and a narrow political agenda based on fear triumph over the weight of scientific and independent economic evidence.

    “The Tasmanian Government has chosen to ignore more than thirty years of scientific evidence and instead followed misleading, misinformed and outright false activist positions. There is no indication of any agricultural products attracting a price premium simply because of a whole-of-state GM-free status as proven by the real-world examples in other states and indeed the world. This is clearly a weak decision by Government and is deeply disappointing for those with a genuine interest in the future of Tasmanian agriculture.

    “The Tasmanian Government is denying their farmers the choice to reap the proven environmental and economic benefits GM crops are already bringing to growers on mainland states and across the globe.

    “The use of GM crops globally is responsible for savings in CO2 emissions of 27 billion kg, the equivalent of removing 90 per cent of passenger cars registered in Australia from the road for one year. Adoption of GM crops has already saved 183 million hectares of land from cultivation, an area 27 times the size of Tasmania.

    “Rejecting modern safe farming innovations proven to foster more environmentally sustainable practices is irresponsible. It’s futile, a waste of time and taxpayer’s money when governments undertake reviews but determine to act against the evidence presented in that process.

    “The plant science sector urges the Tasmanian Government to take note of the available evidence when making important decisions pertaining to agriculture in the future, for the sake of farmers, the environment and the economy,” concluded Mr Cossey.