GM Crops - Labor's capitulation will harm State's clean, green, natural food reputation

In a major betrayal of many of their supporters, the Labor Party has today capitulated to the multi-national chemical companies to allow genetically-modified crops to be grown in South Australia.

“This is a sudden reversal of their long-held policy and 2018 State Election platform in support of the GM crops moratorium. It will come as a shock to those South Australians who voted Labor based on this promise”, said Greens MLC, Mark Parnell.

“This will also be a bitter blow to the many SA food companies who have supported the moratorium. They recognise the importance of South Australia remaining the only mainland GM-free State – a place where we can promote our natural clean and green image, especially to growing overseas and domestic markets that do NOT want to eat GM food.

“Labor’s collusion with the Liberals will also inevitably result in crop contamination for neighbouring farmers. Most farmers do not want to grow GM crops, yet the cost of contamination will fall on their shoulders. There is nothing in the Government legislation to protect farmers or make the owners of GM technology liable when things go wrong.

“In a cruel twist, Labor has held out the forlorn hope that individual local councils can still remain GM-free, however the final decision rests with the Minister who is free to ignore local concerns and allow GM crops to be grown virtually anywhere. Cash-strapped councils only have six months to consult their communities with no additional funding and no assurance that their views will prevail. Only Kangaroo Island will remain GM-free for now”, said Mark Parnell.

The Greens are calling on the Government and Opposition to support amendments to provide legal protections for farmers who suffer losses due to GMO contamination. Debate is expected to continue in the Legislative Council in two weeks time.