"The costs of lifting the moratorium on GM crops far outweigh the benefits," said Greens' spokesperson on Agriculture Senator Rachel Siewert today.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Peter McGauran has stated that a new report GM Canola - an information package adds weight to the argument that State Governments should immediately lift their moratoriums on GM crops.
"It is ludicrous for the Minister to be calling for the moratoriums to be lifted when there have still been no independent trials to assess the agronomics (costs and yields), segregation, liabilities and marketability of GM crops - despite the States' moratoria being introduced three years ago specifically so these issues could be addressed."
"If the moratorium is lifted non-GM farmers will be forced to sell their produce as GM and accept market risk, as it will be too expensive and difficult to market as non-GM. I am also greatly concerned about the price penalties and market rejection linked with marketing as GM."
"In Canada there is clear evidence of a price penalty associated with GM and GM contaminated produce. Attempts to segregate have failed and almost all their canola is now sold as GM. Canada lost their price premium over Australian canola and are now faced with significant price penalties."
"With little benefit, higher costs and lower commodity prices and an inability to segregate the costs definitely seem to outweigh the benefits," said Senator Siewert.