COMMERCIAL farmers are ``mortified'' by the state government's decision to indefinitely extend the ban on genetically modified plants and animals in Tasmania, according to farmer and Western Tiers Independent MLC Greg Hall.
``I think the decision is terrible for the future of agriculture in our state,'' Mr Hall said.
``It's bad policy and it's bad for Tasmania.'' The decision was announced on Thursday by Deputy Premier Bryan Green, who said the state's genetically modified organism-free status was too important to compromise.
Both Mr Hall and Tasmania Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said a further three-year ban would have been more reasonable.
``I think the state government has failed to make the case to extend the moratorium, let alone impose an outright ban,'' Mr Hall said. He said Tasmanian producers would be disadvantaged compared with other jurisdictions.
Liberal primary industries spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said the opposition's position was a further five-year ban, and accused the government of selling out to the Greens. ``After selling out the forestry industry, Labor is now moving on to primary industries,'' Mr Rockliff said.
Mr Green yesterday said the state Liberals had ``back-flipped'' overnight on the policy.
``Will Hodgman supported the moratorium on GMO products yesterday, only to be rolled by his deputy today.''
On Thursday Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said he supported the extension.