Time running out to have your say on review of moratorium on GM food crops

There’s less than two weeks left for people to have their say and make written submissions to the State Government’s independent review of the moratorium on genetically modified food crops in South Australia.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone urged those interested in the review to make their submission by 26 October.

“This is the opportunity to have your say on the moratorium on genetically modified food crops in South Australia,” said Minister Whetstone.

“Now is the time to have your say about South Australia’s GM moratorium for food crops, which is being undertaken by Emeritus Professor Kym Anderson AC – an experienced economist and agricultural policy analyst.

“We want to hear about and understand the different perspectives that exist on this topic and better understand the moratorium’s current and future economic impact.

“Once completed, the review will enable better informed policy decisions regarding GM food crops in South Australia.”

As the moratorium was originally justified by the former government on trade and market access grounds, the review will include assessing the available evidence on its market benefits.

Under the terms of reference, the review will:

  • Assess available evidence on the market benefits of South Australia’s moratorium on the commercial cultivation of GM crops.
  • Assess the degree of awareness of South Australia’s moratorium by key trading partners and food production businesses operating in South Australia and other Australian states.
  • Where there is evidence of market benefits resulting from the moratorium, examine whether it is possible to retain such benefits for industry through the use of systems of segregation in the supply chain, having regard to segregation protocols adopted in other jurisdictions.
  • Consider evidence from South Australian businesses and industry, market and trade data, the experience in other Australian and international jurisdictions and other relevant evidence to inform the analysis.
  • Explore whether there are potential innovations likely to be available for commercial adoption by South Australia’s agricultural industries prior to 2025 that would justify a reconsideration of the moratorium on grounds of economic benefit to the state.
  • Quantify where possible the economic costs and benefits of maintaining, modifying or removing the moratorium, not limited to but including on-farm impacts, food manufacturing, supply chain costs and impacts on research and development investment in South Australia.

Matters of human health, safety and environmental impacts are not within the scope of this review as the regulation of these aspects of gene technology are covered under Commonwealth legislation.

Submissions are due by Friday 26 October 2018.

It is expected the review will be complete in the first quarter of 2019.

For more information, including the full terms of reference and how to have your say, visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/gmreview.

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