Tassie group wants GMO conversation

21 Aug, 2014 12:35 PM
We are losing productivity and competitiveness because we can’t access GMO technologies

THE Tasmanian Farmers and Growers Association responded this week to the State government’s continuation of the moratorium on the use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in Tasmania.

“We welcome the clarity that this is a moratorium rather than ban,” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said.

“The recognition of the need for continuous reassessment of the situation, rather than shutting the door on the subject for the next five years, is vital if we are to make the most of our competitive advantages.

“The inclusion of trigger points to enable regular monitoring and review of developments, both externally and domestically, is therefore important.”

South Australia remains the only mainland State with an ongoing ban on genetically-modified (GM) crops, which is expected to remain in place until at least 2019.

Western Australia adopted the use of GMOs in 2009, a decision which cropping industries in other states have watched closely in the wake of litigation between neighbouring WA farmers - one organic, and one who makes use of GMO.

The Marsh v Baxter case was won by the farmer growing GM crops, Michael Baxter, but is now under appeal.

Ms Davis said the TFGA had told last year’s Tasmanian GMO review that opinion was divided within the farming sector over the use of GM crops and the claimed benefits.

“Research commissioned by the previous government confirmed the fact that remaining GM-free comes at a cost to Tasmanian farmers,” she said.

“The government must recognise this impact on farmers’ overall returns. We need to be open to re-assessment of the situation as new technologies and products are developed, and as markets change.

“There is no doubt that we are losing productivity and competitiveness because we can’t access GMO technologies that arguably could enhance current production outcomes and methodologies.

“Without a promotions campaign in the marketplace to support the moratorium decision, which now goes back 10 years, we’re getting the worst of both worlds. That campaign has never happened; and we’ll be looking forward to discussing possible ways forward with the government,” Ms Davis said.

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21/08/2014 9:09:19 PM

The TFGA and Ms Davis are on a hiding to nothing pushing GMOs. The world has moved on from their pipedream. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of the labours of others who have extended the GMO ban long enough for you to realize the advantages of GM-free and the hazards of GMOs. Then be thankful that some people cared enough.
John Newton
22/08/2014 7:07:56 AM

'GMO technologies that arguably could enhance current production outcomes and methodologies.' I think as you examine the science and the agricultural testing you'll find that the only benefit of GM is to the bio techs who sell the seeds
22/08/2014 8:54:07 AM

John Newton and all his troll mates take the farmers who buy and use and continue to use GM crops as idiots. These are some of the big boys and girls in the industry. They do so because they want to test new technologies and if they like them go on using them. And then there are all the non-farmers in our cotton regions whose dose of insecticides in their environment have dropped enormously. Are you equally jammed up about Apple making bucks from I- phones and Toyota from 4WDs?
23/08/2014 6:39:50 AM

Michael Baxter said in court that he got 30% better yields in the problem paddocks because of GM. There's been a 50 percent increase in sales of seeds this year as better GM varieties kick in (they were held back by the moratorium). So the claims there are no benefits are looking a bit suss.
Dave Noakes
24/08/2014 6:19:10 PM

At least John you have the guts to have your name stand behind your comment. with a name called jeffito there's only one troll on here !!!! and where exactly did you say/assume anyone was an idiot !!!!!
29/09/2014 5:34:46 AM

Doesn't anyone read all the articles about the bees dying everywhere, and how this is related to all the gmo's out there. We send bees to America because theirs have died out because 90 percent of their crops are gmo crops. When our bees went over there they died also. Now because we do have some gmo's already our bees are starting to die. What is it going to take for people to wake up,there are enough articles out there if you care, don't to stick your head in the sand. All over Europe governments are banning gmo's because of the repercussions. ban what we already have not get even more.
John Snooke
29/09/2014 7:13:28 AM

I grow GM and non-GM canola side by side. The yield and oil from GM canola is higher hence a greater gross margin over non-GM. Even when taking into account the technology fee for GM canola I am still about $50-00 per ha in front of non-GM canola. I would still grow GM canola if it cost me $50-00 per/ha because the weed control is near perfect and rotating between the 3 herbicide groups on offer in canola is a worthwhile resistance package. Interestingly, I am yet to see a Monsanto employee come onto my farm and force me to grow GM canola. It would be great to see Tassy adopt GM before SA!!
29/09/2014 8:39:40 AM

John Snooke, are you a farmer who researches the market before you go ahead and grow your product? If so please tell us which food retailer is DEMANDING GM canola to make their product for human consumption or animal feed for that matter. Also please tell us which retailer promotes their products being made from GM canola as being better for us than non GM Canola.
30/09/2014 7:15:28 AM

David Noakes, how about accepting the challenge I gave to John Snooke which he has failed to answer?
30/09/2014 9:29:05 AM

LTF: Don't know about John Snooke, but I don't need a premium price because the yields and weed control are worth it. That's why I only have one paddock of non GM canola right now. If you don't like it, then don't grow it. A premium price would sure be nice, but maybe we don't see that because people like you try to talk it down! You can't tell the difference in the seed coming out of the header, so quit ranting about a problem that doesn't exist and leave the rest of us alone.
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