Tuesday, 09 March 2021 18:25

NSW to lift GM crop moratorium

Written by  Staff Reporters
The NSW Government says it will lift its moratorium on genetically modified food crops from 1 July 2021. The NSW Government says it will lift its moratorium on genetically modified food crops from 1 July 2021.

The NSW Government has announced that a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) food crops will be lifted in the state from 1 July 2021, ending an 18-year ban.

The lifting of the ban on genetically modified crops will have immediate application for canola.

Director of the Sydney Institute of Agriculture, Professor Alex McBratney, said there are pros and cons to the decision to lift the ban on GM crops in NSW, which will align now with the rest of Australia.

 “If we use genetic technology to improve the nutritional profile of crops, such as vitamin levels in rice, or by making crops more water-efficient, that will be a definite positive. We’ve already seen a dramatic drop in insecticide use in GM cotton grown in Australia.

 “However, crops modified to be ‘Round-Up ready’ can encourage overuse of herbicides when we should be looking at alternatives, such as camera spraying and other precision agriculture methods.”

 McBratney says it is important to remember that the only commercialisation of GM crops has been for canola and cotton.

“Genetically modified wheat hasn’t been commercialised anywhere in the world so far, so that offers a big challenge for our researchers.”

He says there are some markets, largely in Europe, that don’t want GM products – so it will be important to label GM products appropriately.

Meanwhile, Sydney Institute of Agriculture’s dean of science and soil scientist Professor Iain Young says the lifting of the moratorium on GM crops offers a host of opportunities, at a time when we have to secure our food production.  “The lessons from Europe show us we must be proactive in dealing with public concerns and potential misconceptions.”

More like this

GE grass’s GHG solution

New Zealand forage scientists have been experimenting to discover whether a new, potentially environmentally sustainable grass will perform in the field as it has in controlled environment studies.

Call to review GMO decision-making welcomed

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith’s voice of reason is the common sense approach New Zealand needs when it comes to genetically modified organisms, says Federated Farmers’ president Dr William Rolleston.

National

$8 still on the cards

Farmgate milk price forecasts continue to fluctuate despite a rise in the last Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction.

Machinery & Products

Making lamb marking easy

Designed by a sheep and beef farmer, Vetmarkers are made in New Zealand and sold around the world.

A big tractor needed

German cultivation and seeding manufacturer Amazone has launched a new semimounted plough range, suitable for tractors in the 400hp class.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Murky waters

OPINION: Your canine crusader knows there is a great deal of unease - especially in rural NZ - about the…

Who?

OPINION: The refusal of both Damien O'Connor and PM Jacinda Ardern to release some of the correspondence they received about…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter