Policy the pulse of change

19 Apr, 2006 08:45 PM
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NEW support for genetically modified technology in the pulses industry emerged at Grains Week in Canberra with Pulse Australia announcing a pro-GM policy.

Pulse Australia chief executive officer Gavin Gibson said a major change in attitude towards GMOs had become apparent in the industry.

"We canvassed our state group affiliates, our members, bulk handlers and stakeholders and we found there was support for a more positive attitude to the technology," Mr Gibson said.

"We are still very conscious we need to be aware of what the market wants and will buy."

Mr Gibson said the group had received no financial support or approach from GMO multinationals Bayer CropScience or Monsanto.

The new policy states Pulse Australia supports research, development and use of biotechnology in Australian agriculture.

The policy supports the release of a GM pulse variety, provided it has widespread industry support and market acceptance with agreed industry standards to ensure product integrity.

The old policy completely opposed the commercial release of GMO pulse crops until customers were completely comfortable with the technology.

It states any GM pulse research had to be conducted under strict protocols.

Mr Gibson said the two policies were not so dissimilar and the policy change was reflective of the Pulse Australia commitment to fairly represent its members.

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