If the state governments decide to extend their moratoria on genetic modification (GM) technology in food crops early next year, there is no point in Australia ever allowing GM.
By the time the moratoria came up for review we would be almost 20 years behind our competitors in terms of development and would be forever playing catch-up.
This means the stakes are sky-high over the coming months, as decisions are made on the future of GM trial work.
The momentum for the introduction of GM appears to be building and there are clear benefits for growers if traits such as drought and salt tolerance can be added to varieties of staple cereal crops.
The crucial thing for the GM lobby is to be more inclusive than it has in the past and ensure they steer clear of the 'my way or the highway' approach that plagued the debate last time the issue was up for review.
Like it or not, the issue of co-existence has to be addressed, and as the anti-GM lobby has repeated ad infinitum, there can be no way that those wishing to remain GM free should be made to suffer due to contamination.
Likewise, those against the technology cannot hold up vague 'lost markets' and impossible AP levels as artificial barriers to prevent the introduction of the technology.
Currently, talk is centring on 0.9pc AP levels and that seems like a sensible option, with the only loss of market thus far within the organics sector.
The GM lobby must work with the organic industry to see if they can convince them of the sense of allowing a minute tolerance level which will allow all neighbouring businesses to co-exist successfully.