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6-Regulation: Wellington Council (Australia) goes for 5-year GE-moratorium



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TITLE:  Council seeks GM free area in NSW
SOURCE: Wellington Times, Australia
        http://wellington.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=
        local&category=general%20news&story_id=201887&y=2003&m=1
DATE:   Jan 8, 2003

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


Council seeks GM free area in NSW

Wellington Council wants a five-year moratorium on genetically modified 
organisms and a knockback from Agriculture Minister Richard Amery hasn't 
deterred it in its aim. The minister rejected a suggested large-as-possible 
GM-free area suggested by the council in favour of guidelines and a strict 
regulatory regime under the Commonwealth Gene Technology Act, complemented 
by State legislation. In responding to the council's written concerns, Mr 
Amery preached the possible virtues of a GM revolution. "Genetic 
modification promises new varieties of crops and pastures that have 
resistance to currently intractable pests and diseases, reduced reliance on 
pesticides and the creation of a range of new food and industrial 
products," he said. "It also offers at least partial solutions to some 
environmental problems such as salinity, soil acidity and the reliance on 
chemicals." Mr Amery said the NSW Government had not implemented exclusion 
zones because Australian studies had shown they were costly and presented 
practical difficulties in their implementation and maintenance. They also 
offered limited potential to differentiate GM and non-GM products and would 
severely restrict the ability of producers to change production systems 
within or outside the zones, he said. Instead, the NSW Government supported 
the development by the Gene Technology Grains Committee of crop management 
plans and identity preservation schemes. The minister said the NSW 
Government was convinced that organic farming, conventional farming and GM 
plant varieties could co-exist. "However commercial release of new GM crops 
will not be supported unless this co-existence can be supported," Mr Amery 
said. Wellington Council's general manager Don Ramsland said a moratorium 
was the way the Government should go on the issue. He said more research 
was needed to identify all impacts of genetic modification. "We shouldn't 
be introducing anything which could get out of hand," Mr Ramsland said.

 

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