Farmers on mainland South Australia now have the choice to buy and grow genetically modified seeds and crops with new regulations starting today.
The lifting of the GM moratorium allows South Australian farmers to make decisions ahead of the 2020 growing season and give them more tools to grow the economy and create jobs.
The moratorium will remain in place on Kangaroo Island.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the Marshall Liberal Government is standing with South Australia’s farmers.
“By lifting the GM moratorium on mainland South Australia today, we are backing our farmers and researchers to grow the state’s agriculture sector and create jobs,” said Minister Whetstone.
“For 15 long years South Australia has suffered under a moratorium which has cost our grain growers real money, restricted our scientists’ ability to conduct world-leading research and put a handbrake on our state’s economy.
“Lifting the moratorium will put our farmers on a level playing field with their counterparts around the country who have had access to GM technology for at least a decade.
“Our farmers will now have extra tools to help deal with drought and tackle climate change, as well as spraying less chemicals into the environment.”
Minister Whetstone called for Labor and SA Best to stop getting in the way of progress for South Australia and support the lifting of the GM moratorium.
“On the back of pleas from our farming community and overwhelming public support the Marshall Liberal Government has twice tried to lift the moratorium only for Labor and SA Best to combine to block the removal of the ban,” said Minister Whetstone.
“It’s time for Peter Malinauskas, the Labor Party and SA Best to start listening to South Australia’s regional communities and stop playing politics with our farmers’ livelihoods.
“When Mr Malinauskas became leader he said he wouldn’t lead a ‘destructive-style’ opposition, well it’s time for him to live up to that promise.
“The decision to lift the GM moratorium followed a high-level independent expert review, extensive industry and community consultation and the recommendations of the GM Crop Advisory Committee.
“The independent review found the so-called price premiums for being GM-free were a myth and the moratorium has cost South Australian grain growers at least $33 million since 2004 and will cost farmers at least a further $5 million if extended to 2025.”