Note from Bob Phelps - Director of Gene Ethics
We are working hard on retaining South Australia's and Tassie's GM-free status till 2019, when it is due to expire on September 1, in the normal course of events. The GM moratorium in SA has had the support of all parties since its introduction in 2003, when the OGTR issued commercial GM canola licences to Monsanto and Bayer.
The following data supports the GM-free stance. On the figures we can secure, below, we conclude:
- average GM and non-GM canola yields were very similar from 2008-2012.
- GM canola has no yield advantage over the top non-GM varieties.
- the percentage of GM canola in the entire canola crop in VIC & NSW is in decline.
- the decline in GM seed use results from: less profitable than non-GM, no increase in yield, many well-performing canola seed options available, 'tried GM but never again'.
- Birchip Cropping Group found in 2011 in Western Victoria that GM canola was less profitable than non-GM by ~$150/ha. This resulted from much higher input costs - seed, chemicals, transport, segregation - & lower returns for the harvest. (see attached article) Though the GM seed owners have since capped the price discount on harvested GM canola at $10/tonne, input and management costs are still higher, prices lower and profits lower.
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