GENET archive


6-Regulation: Australian Capital Territory bans GE crops until 2006

-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  GM food crops not allowed until 2006
SOURCE: Canberra Times, Australia, by Scott Hannaford
DATE:   2 Jul 2004

------------------- archive: -------------------

GM food crops not allowed until 2006

Genetically modified food crops will not be permitted for commercial
release into the environment in the ACT [Australian Capital Territory]
until mid-2006, under laws passed in the Legislative Assembly last night.

The Government's Gene Technology (GM Crop Moratorium) Bill imposes a
three-year moratorium on the environmental release of GM crops, but has
provisions to allow scientific research to continue. The Government
committed to introducing a moratorium in June 2003.

A broader, open-ended Bill from Greens MLA Kerrie Tucker, seeking to ban
all GM organisms in the ACT, but also allowing for some research where
justified, was defeated in preference for the Government's Bill.

Acting Health Minister Bill Wood said the moratorium would bring the ACT
into line with NSW and the Commonwealth Gene Technology Regulator,
without threatening important research work done in the ACT by
organisations such as the CSIRO, ANU, University of Canberra and the
Cooperative Research Centre for Pest Control.

He said it was also important that the ACT not become a legislative
island, surrounded by different laws in NSW.

The moratorium, ending on June 17, 2006, would allow time for the ACT
community to properly assess any impact such crops would have on non-GM
crops. The Assembly will again debate the issue once the moratorium ends.

The Opposition supported the Government's approach. Liberal spokeswoman
Vicki Dunne said placing a blanket ban on research could cut off the ACT
from potential future advances such as drought-resistant strains of food

Mr Wood also warned that banning all genetically modified organisms could
see some currently available medicines banned from the ACT.

Ms Tucker said the Government's Bill failed to implement a number of key
recommendations of an Assembly health committee's inquiry into the issue,
and allowed the community totake the risk decided by scientists of
running trial crops.


Gene Technology (GM Crop Moratorium) Bill 2004
- presented by Minister for Health (Gov)
- amended during its passage in the Legislative Assembly

Version - Status
a) Bill as presented - 11 March 2004
b) Passed and awaiting notification - 1 July 2004


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6
D - 38116 Braunschweig

P: +49-531-5168746
F: +49-531-5168747
M: +49-162-1054755
E: coordination(*)
W: <>

   GENET-news mailing list