28 September 2012
Over the next 100 years, growing enough food for people to eat will challenge all countries. Australia, as one of the few large food exporting countries, has an unprecedented opportunity to take the lead in innovating to produce safe, nutritious and affordable food for domestic and export markets. Australia’s National Food Plan must recognise the important role that Australian exports play in supporting food security throughout the region.
Agricultural chemicals and genetically modified crops are currently major contributors to the sustainability and productivity of Australia’s food production systems. The benefits that they generate for farmers, other users, consumers and the environment far outweigh any real or imagined risks associated with their adoption or use. These tools are currently assisting to produce nutritious, healthy, affordable and disease-free food for Australian and overseas consumers.
Australia’s National Food Plan needs to recognise the significant contribution made to date by these modern technologies. It also needs to recognise that agricultural chemicals and genetically modified crops have the potential to maintain and increase yields into the future.
The National Food Plan must address all aspects of Australia’s food production supply chain to ensure that all essential inputs are supported,
Agricultural chemicals and genetically modified crops will not be the only mechanisms necessary to support future Australian food production. However, these tools have the potential to make a valuable contribution to increasing productivity. Rather than engaging in a process of selecting acceptable production methods, Australia’s National Food Plan should allow farmers to select the methods, tools and production systems that best suit their particular circumstances.