SA could kill GM ban
The South Australian Government is considering scrapping its ban on genetically modified (GM) crops.
The Government has received a review into the economic consequences of the policy, which has been in place since 2004.
The ban was due to expire in 2019, but has been extended until 2025.
The review found the ban has cost farmers over $33 million, and will continue to cost them another $5 million over the next six years.
The state’s Liberal government has been lobbying against the GM ban since it was in opposition.
The report said a majority of submissions “favour the immediate removal” of the moratorium on GM crop production and transport.
It said Kangaroo Island should be kept GM-free so as to “retain access to Japan's high-priced market for GM-free grain”.
Another finding was that there is no price premium for grain from South Australia given its GM-free status, and that the ban has not given SA farmers better access to European Union markets.
Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone said the report was useful in debunking “myths” about the ban.
“Investment in agricultural science has suffered under the moratorium, with the review finding the GM moratorium has discouraged both public and private investment in research and development in this state,” Mr Whetstone said.
“The former Labor government continually spruiked the significant premiums for South Australia's non-GM canola.
“However the report debunks this view, finding there is no premium for SA grain when comparing data on prices of grain from neighbouring states.”