South Australian farmers have lost up to $33 million from a longstanding ban on genetically modified crops, prompting calls from the Conservative Party's Senate candidate, Rikki Lambert, for it to be immediately overturned.
The Advertiser reports, an independent report, released yesterday, found the ban had cost growers $33 million on canola crops since 2004, and if extended to 2025, they faced losses of at least another $5 million.
Grain Producers SA chief executive Caroline Rhodes said the moratorium has run its course and, in the absence of premiums for the state’s farmers, it must be lifted.
“The grain industry should not continue to wear the cost of this redundant legislation, which is based on the false premise of a market premium,” Ms Rhodes said.
“South Australia is the last mainland state that has placed a ban on the commercial cultivation of GM crops.
“We have been denied access to crop varieties proven safe by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, based on a political ideology captured by the anti-GM movement.”
In September, the State Government commissioned economics emeritus professor Kym Anderson to investigate the cost and benefits of maintaining or removing the ban.
His report contained 19 findings, including that the ban has discouraged investment into research and development and that SA farmers did not have better access to European Union markets.
The majority of public submissions to the report were also in favour of the immediate removal of the GM ban on crop production and transport.
Mr Lambert told Narelle Graham on ABC Country SA afternoon radio the pro-farmer findings of the report were very welcome:
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