Greens move to reinstate GM crop ban

Greens move to reinstate GM crop ban

Cropping
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When Parliament resumes on April 28, the Greens will again motion to disallow government regulations that lifted the GM crops moratorium.

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WHEN Parliament resumes on April 28, the Greens will again move to disallow government regulations that lifted the genetically-modified crops moratorium on mainland SA.

Greens MLC Mark Parnell said if successful, it will be the third time the ban on GM crops will be reinstated.

"The government has deliberately used delaying tactics for the last month to prevent Parliament from voting on this issue, but now the Regulations have been tabled the writing is on the wall that moratorium will be back in place later this month," he said.

"This means that farmers considering growing GM canola this season need to know that until Parliament properly debates the issue, the legality or otherwise of GM crops is still uncertain.

"By deliberately delaying the SA Parliament from scrutinising his executive decision to lift the GM crops moratorium, after they've already voted three times to keep it, (Agriculture) Minister (Tim) Whetstone has again shown his contempt for not only Parliament, but for the people of SA and our democratic processes."

Mr Parnell said the Greens had consistently pushed for legislation that includes protection for the vast bulk of farmers who have no interest in growing GM crops.

"There are two Bills currently before Parliament and these can enable proper debate," he said.

"The Government just need to have the guts to debate it.

"By continuing to lift the moratorium through exective powers, all Mr Whetstone is achieving is a climate of uncertainty for SA farmers and the wider community.

"It's time for Mr Whetstone to respect the decision of the SA Parliament to keep our GM crops moratorium and stop unilaterally reimposing his pro-GM and pro-big business agenda on South Australians."

In response, Mr Whetstone said "until our legislation is passed, the state government will continue to re-introduce regulations for as long as is needed to provide our graingrowers regulatory certainty and the confidence to know they can invest in seed and plant the crops they wish to grow".

"The measures in our Bill and the regulations have been widely consulted and gives our farmers the same freedom of choice available to their interstate neighbours when it comes to choice of crops," he said.

"Lifting the GM moratorium in SA also gives our farmers more tools in the toolbox to mitigate climate change, boost the agriculture industry, grow the economy and create jobs."

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