SA-Best MLC Frank Pangallo will introduce a Private Members Bill into state parliament today to allow GM crops to be grown in SA - with a strict set of safeguards.
Mr Pangallo said his alternative to the government's GM approach was designed to allow GM and non-GM farming operations to co-exist with a "more balanced approach". He says it gives protection to non-GM farmers and producers, while not imposing major hurdles for growing GM crops.
As first mentioned by Stock Journal yesterday, measures in Mr Pangallo's Genetically Modified Crops Management (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2020 include:
- A designated buffer zone of at least 10 metres being established between a property growing a GM crop and a neighbouring non-GM crop property
- A non-GM farmer being able to request the Environment Protection Authority undertakes an inspection of their crop if they believe their property is contaminated
- A farmer being able to pursue civil remedies against the patent holder if they have suffered loss without needing to prove negligence
- The requirement for a GM crop farmer to give 60 days' notice to neighbours before sowing and harvesting their crops.
Under SA-Best's plan, the moratorium on Kangaroo Island will be legislated rather than covered by regulations.
"SA-Best's position on GM crops has been very clear - we fully support the introduction of GM crops, but it needs to be fair for everyone involved," Mr Pangallo said.
"We support farmers' and their rights to choose to grow the crops of their choosing - but there needs to be choice, flexibility, compromise and protections for GM and non-GM producers.
"We believe our bill has the necessary safeguards while not hindering the introduction of GM in SA - along with encouraging investment in agriculture in this state and promoting our world-leading research in the area of biotechnology.
"I hope the state government and the Labor opposition see the merits in what we are proposing."
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