NSW Farmers backs move to lift ban on GM crops 

 
NSW Farmers supports a decision to lift the moratorium on Genetically Modified (GM) crops, provided farmers have a choice and that any genetically modified organism has been approved by an independent, science-based Australian regulator.

The NSW Government will lift the ban on the use of GM crops by allowing an 18-year moratorium to lapse when the Gene Technology (GM Crop Moratorium) Act 2003 is due to expire on 1 July 2021.

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said farmers who wish to cultivate GM crops should have the opportunity to make informed choices about what to sow, based on their individual businesses and specific conditions. 

“For farmers, it’s all about the right to choose. There are farmers who would incorporate GMO’s into their farming systems and there are farmers who would choose not to,” Mr Jackson said. 

“We do have confidence in the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator as an independent science based regulator that will balance the risks and benefits of different GM crops or applications for those farmers choose to incorporate them. 

“It is true that there is huge potential with biotechnology to develop more drought resilient crops and improve sustainable weed and pest control, which will play a key role in reaching our aim of a $30 billion Ag sector by 2030. But we also have to be collectively responsible in respecting a farmer’s choice not to use GM technology.”

Mr Jackson said the right to choose does not stop with the crops a farmer plants. 

“Truth in labelling is important to create trust and acceptance and to provide consumers the opportunity to make informed choices in regard to genetically modified foods,” Mr Jackson said.

Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory do not have a moratorium in place, and the moratorium in South Australia now only applies to Kangaroo Island. 

Date: Tuesday, 2 March 2021
Media Contact:  Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au