Farmers across South Australia will have the option of planting Genetically Modified (GM) food crops next season.
The State Government has commenced a six-week consultation before introducing new regulations that lift the GM moratorium for all areas except Kangaroo Island.
The government says a review found the moratorium has cost SA grain growers at least $33 million since 2004 and will cost at least $5 million more if extended to 2025.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the Anderson Review found the GM moratorium in South Australia provided no price premium compared with GM crop growing neighbouring states.
All parties are being called upon to support the decision will provide farmers with environmental and financial benefits.
Grain Producers SA has welcomed the government’s decision. Chair Wade Dabinett said the government’s decision to restrict the moratorium to KI reflected the findings of the independent review into SA’s GM moratorium undertaken by Emeritus Professor Kym Anderson AC.
“We are pleased to see government take steps towards removing this handbrake on our industry and we look forward to an orderly transition during the legislative process," he said.
“South Australian growers have been prevented from having access to the same leading technology their mainland interstate counterparts for more than 15 years.
“Since the organisation’s inception, GPSA has consistently argued the moratorium offers little in the way of trade and marketing benefits to the majority of agricultural producers in SA and removes the option of using GM tools which have been independently proven to be safe and effective.
“We strongly believe that growers deserve the freedom to grow the cereal, legume and oilseed varieties that best fit their farming system, and thank the Minister for delivering this vision.”