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  • Rikki Lambert

NSW leaves K.I. & Tasmania the GM-free islands of Australia

Thursday 1 July marks a new opportunity for New South Wales farmers to increase their competitiveness and productivity, Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says, as the state Government lifts its ban on the use of Genetically Modified or GM crops.

Minister Marshall said in a statement that the lapse of the 18-year moratorium on Thursday will enable better yields with less inputs such as pesticides, whilst growing more nutritious produce:

"The NSW Government has been looking closely at this issue for more than a decade and has worked with industry to ensure any trade and marketing issues are effectively managed,”
“There is strong scientific consensus in support of the potential of GM crops and so I wanted to ensure the state’s farmers had access to this technology.
“There is a robust safety system in place, with all applications to grow GM crops assessed by the Commonwealth Gene Technology Regulator.”

The state government believes adopting GM could deliver up to $4.8 billion in gross benefits across NSW farming in the next 10 years, possibly saving farmers up to 35 per cent on their overheads and lifting production by 10 per cent.

South Australia recently lifted its ban on the mainland, with Kangaroo Island still under a moratorium. When the Marshall-led Liberals came to office in 2018 they acted on their election promise to review the ban, with the 2018 independent review recommending it be lifted.

Whilst Victoria lifted their ban back in 2008, Tasmania extended its moratorium by 10 years in 2019.

Tasmania and Kangaroo Island, therefore, remain the only places in the nation with a GM moratorium.


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