Today marks an historic new opportunity for NSW farmers to increase their competitiveness and productivity, as the government lifts its ban on the use of Genetically Modified crops.
NSW Nationals Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall has announced the lapse of the 18-year moratorium and said it would not be renewed, opening the door for the primary industries sector to embrace new GM technologies.
“By lifting the ban we hope to unlock the potential of GM crops for our state’s growers, delivering better yields with less inputs such as pesticides, and growing more nutritious produce,” Mr Marshall said.
“Adoption of GM technology is forecast to deliver up to $4.8 billion in total gross benefits across NSW primary industries over the next 10 years.
“GM technology could save farmers up to 35 per cent on their overheads and boost production by almost 10 per cent. This will be a key area of growth on our path to a $19 billion industry by 2023.”
Mr Marshall said the moratorium had served its purpose, with the community and industry now well placed to embrace the benefits of GM crops.
“The NSW Nationals in the state government have been looking closely at this issue for more than a decade and has worked with industry to ensure any trade and marketing issues are effectively managed,” Mr Marshall said
“There is strong scientific consensus in support of the potential of GM crops and so I wanted to ensure the state’s farmers had access to this technology.
“There is a robust safety system in place, with all applications to grow GM crops assessed by the Commonwealth Gene Technology Regulator.”
Genetically modified canola, cotton and safflower have been successfully grown in NSW since 2008 meeting all crop management and marketing requirements.