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Greens back WA call for halt on GM foods

The Australian Greens today supported calls from the WA Government for a halt on all Genetically Modified food approvals until they are fully tested for safe human consumption and rigorous national labelling laws are in place.

"Regulation of GM in this country is grossly inadequate and highlights why it is so important to maintain the moratorium on GM crops," said Australian Greens spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The GM-free status of the produce of states like WA is under threat by the decisions of NSW and Victoria to go ahead with GM crops, and federal legislation does nothing to deal with this issue. These states threaten our markets, and take away choice of other farmers and other states to remain GM free," she said.

"Under questioning in Estimates earlier this year, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand said that an appropriate standard for labelling GM products could take up to two years to develop," said Senator Siewert.

"The Greens applaud the WA Government's anti-GM stance, and call on Premier Carpenter to push his state colleagues in COAG to refer this issue to FSANZ and require them to develop a national GM labelling standard."

"The NSW Government has said that 'strict labelling laws will be in place' - but questioning in Senate Estimates recently revealed that NSW is not in a position to make this commitment because labelling is a Federal issue," she said.

"Even if there was a national agreement to put in place labelling standards it would take up to two years to implement."

"Until such a system is in place, we simply should not be approving the use of GM crops anywhere in the country," she concluded.

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