GM crops ban extended in SA

South Australia is the only mainland state maintaining a ban on genetically modified crop production and trials, extending a moratorium until at least 2019.

According to ABC, government minister Leon Bignell said the state's GM-free status gives producers a competitive advantage in overseas markets, including Japan, and would help protect the state's food and wine industry and allow grain producers to attract higher prices.

"We've got a strong reputation not just around Australia but around the world for producing clean, green premium food and we think having a moratorium on the growing of GM crops really helps us in that end," he said.

The Opposition said if it is to be elected into office next March, it too would maintain the ban, but agriculture spokesman, David Ridgway, said it needed regular review to ensure farmers aren't at a disadvantage.

Tasmania also has a  strong reputation for non-GM, clean and green food production, protected under its own moratorium, currently under review and due to expire in November next year.

The state's beekeepers are fighting to keep the moratorium and have threatened to impose a pollination ban if it's lifted.

However poppy growers are prepared to launch legal action if the moratorium is maintained, with Glynn Williams of the Poppy Growers Association arguing that GM poppies would not impact on Tasmania’s food or honey production.


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