Australian consumers mislead by anti-GM campaigns

“Recent statements that encourage the continued ban of GM crops in South Australia seem to be more about an individual political agenda than good public policy debate. “There is no fact or scientific basis to any of the statements that indicate South Australia’s reputation, environment or public health are at risk if they allow the production of GM crops. In fact, quite the opposite is true,” CropLife Australia chief executive officer, Matthew Cossey said. “Agriculture in South Australia is actually facing a significant competitive disadvantage without the use of GM crops in the future. “The importance of GM crops and the fast-growing nature of GM technology that could bring both economic and agronomic benefits for South Australia have been acknowledged by the President of the State’s Farming Federation, Peter White. “Biotechnology in agriculture is delivering crucial innovation for Australia’s and the world’s farmers. Ongoing research is also being done in critical areas to enhance nutrition and higher yields, to improve drought resistance and increase salinity tolerance,” Cossey said. “Comments that question the safety and labelling of GM food ingredients are just political propaganda. GM products in Australia undergo rigorous scientific assessment and are safe for consumers. “Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) already mandate the labelling of these products for consumer choice, not because of public health concerns.” “Workable food labelling policy must be science-based and reflect the realities of agricultural supply chains and global trade, not political agendas. Technology-specific and ideologically motivated policies such as those expounded recently in the media only act to deprive responsible consumers of the choice they deserve,” Cossey concluded.

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