August 15, 2003 -- CropChoice news -- Australian Broadcasting Co.
South Australia has come close to slamming the door
on GM crops, following the findings of a parliamentary
The committee has recommended that legislation be introduced
delaying the commercial release of GM crops until it
can be guaranteed that the state will not lose markets.
Select Committee chairman Rory McEwan says the legislation
will remain in place until a parliamentary advisory
committee is convinced GM and conventional crops can
And he admits the bar has been set very high:
"As long as you can guarantee coexistence,"
he said, "and some very strict rules surround that,
then it is possible to go through a process, and at
least have a conditional release. Because trade and
market issues depend on consumer sentiment, which is
always changing, we must always have the options there.
Now, the only way to have the options is to guarantee
coexistence. Now some people say that's not possible.
We're not making that judgment, but we're actually saying
you have to prove that's possible before you can have
Meanwhile, a Western Australian plant breeding specialist
says his State Government's moratorium on genetically
modified crops will force researchers to head overseas
to complete their work.
Dr. Ian Edwards is the Chief Executive of Grain Biotech
Australia, a private company that breeds crops resistent
to a range of pests and diseases.
Doctor Edwards says the company is ready to field test
its barley yellow dwarf virus resistence technology,
which he says could be a major breakthrough for wheat
But with a moratorium in place at least until 2006,
he says the trials may have to take place overseas.