GMO moratorium ‘damaging’

Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall

Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall

WESTERN Tiers MLC Greg Hall says the continuation of a moratorium against genetically-modified organisms in Tasmania could have a negative impact on the state’s poppy industry.

Last week, the state government announced it would support the retention of a moratorium on the use of GMOs for the next five years.

But yesterday, Mr Hall said there is still a conversation to be had on the matter, with the subject returning to the parliament next week.

‘‘In the next five years the continuation of the moratorium could cause significant damage to the competitive edge of our poppy industry,’’ he said.

‘‘Independent scientists – that’s scientists not caught up with activist groups and not caught up with industry – every single regulator around the world and science institutes back the technology that underpins GM crops.

‘‘This discussion should be a continuous engagement about explaining the risks and benefits of GM technology.

‘‘The umbrella description of GM, which typically covers a broad range of cropping, needs to be unpicked and focused on what is actually viable as an option for Tasmanian growers.’’

Mr Hall stated further protocols needed to be developed.

‘‘In my view we should be spending the next two to three years developing protocols and procedures for determining how to consider the market impacts of releasing a GMO.

‘‘We need to be open to assess new technologies, products and market developments on a continuous basis.

‘‘Fixing another moratorium and turning our back on the GM conversation could deliver benefits to competitors that we may never recover from, this has to be an active ongoing discussion.’’

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