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GE-Free Lost Opportunity

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Thursday, 21 August 2014

Tags: GMOs

The Tasmanian Greens today sought to amend the government’s Genetically Modified Organisms Control Amendment Bill 2014, to make the current moratorium a permanent ban.

“To give our primary producers long-term investment and market security we need to legislate to make our current GE-free status permanent,” Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said.

“It was very disappointing to see the Labor Opposition back-flip on their election commitment to make permanent the current ban on GE food crops, when they voted with the Liberals to defeat the Greens’ amendment.”

“It was only in January this year that the-then Deputy Premier Bryan Green released a statement saying, ‘the government plans to continue a ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for food crops and animals to maintain the integrity of Tasmania’s brand and maximise future marketing opportunities’.” [1]

“As an island state Tasmania has enviable biosecurity advantages which we can leverage to secure national and international food markets, which are experiencing a growing demand for genuine GE-free produce,”

 “While an expiry date of November 2019 is preferable to one of November this year, all an expiry date does is lock in uncertainty for our food crop producers, honey producers, conventional GE-free farmers and organic farmers.”

“This Bill gave all three Parties the opportunity to provide long term investment, employment and marketing security for our producers and consumers, sadly it is an opportunity missed.” 

“Many stakeholders will be shocked to see Labor’s lack of integrity on this matter exposed, with their failure to vote in support of making the GE ban permanent just as they promised to do in the lead up to the state election,” Mr Booth said.

[1] Media Statement, Deputy Premier Bryan Green, “A GMO-free future for Tasmania”, 9 Jan 2014.