Greens, Labor, Democrats unite on GM policy

Posted by Josette Dunn on 12th March 2010

The South Australian Liberal Opposition is the only party that has not made a clear and unequivocal election promise to extend the present ban on genetically manipulated (GM) crops for the term of the next government.”The ALP government, the Greens and Democrats all commit to ban commercial GM crops until 2014 at least” says Gene Ethics Director Bob Phelps.

Mr Phelps applauds the parties who have promised to continue the ban on GM crops in South Australia.  He believes that being GM free makes economic sense, and puts South Australian farmers in an advantageous position.

“GM-free gives South Australian food and wine a strong edge under the government’s promotional campaign and builds on the state’s clean, green image. GM-free canola is in high demand here and in overseas markets so SA will be a winner all round.” Said Phelps.

“The Liberals ask for: ‘more time to closely monitor the progress in other states as well as investigate the benefits of remaining GM free … to remain competitive in a globalised market’, before making a final decision. There would be no guarantee the GM crop ban would stay, under a Liberal government.

“The Genetic Manipulation of crops and foods is a key election issue, so to be credible the Liberal Party must commit to GM-free policies and to ban commercial GM crops until 2014. No if or buts,” Mr Phelps says.
Labor, Greens and Democrats all undertake to: ‘strictly enforce quarantine laws that prohibit GM seed from entering South Australia’.

They will also: ‘increase government funding to develop more sustainable farming systems, including organic, GM-free’ that are less dependent on dwindling reserves of oil and phosphates. “In this era of global climate change and burgeoning human populations it’s essential that we not waste time on old, failed GM technology that cannot deliver on its wild promises,” Mr Phelps concludes.