GM Argument Moves to Australia

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July 3, 2007

Addressing a recent biofuels forum in Canberra, Australia, the Australian federal minister for agriculture, Peter McGauran, said Australia's state moratoriums on genetically modified (GM) crops are placing the country's agricultural sector at serious risk of being left behind by international competitors. McGauran said he welcomes recent decisions by Tasmania and the state of Victoria to review their bans on GM crops, and he called on other jurisdictions to follow their lead. He commented that biotechnology helps provide answers to important challenges, such as a growing world population, increasing demand for food, and the demand to use crops for energy production. In particular, he said: "Australian farmers face considerable challenges - including competing demands for water, increasing soil acidity and salinity, new and adapting pests and diseases, and strong competition in our export markets." McGauran also emphasized that the federal government has an "extremely comprehensive" regulatory system to assess the potential risks of biotechnology to human health and the environment. The article can be viewed online at the link below. Source: Country News via Food Security and FS-AgBiotech (FS-AgBiotech) News. Author: Geoff Adams