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GM Crop Management Act Review in South Australia




                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  GM CROP MANAGEMENT ACT REVIEW

SOURCE: Government of South Australia, Australia

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/byteserve/agriculture/field_crops/gm_crops/gm_crops_management_act.pdf

DATE:   28.06.2007

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GM CROP MANAGEMENT ACT REVIEW

A review of the Genetically Modified Crops Management Act 2004 has started.

Submissions to the review would be independently assessed with a report prepared for the Genetically Modified (GM) Crop Advisory Committee which will make recommendations to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Rory McEwen.

Mr McEwen said the review would focus on:

- The purpose of the Act and whether there are alternative ways to prevent adverse market outcomes

- The operation of the Act

- The regulation that prohibits the cultivation of GM crops in South Australia.

”The Act gives effect to the South Australian Government’s commitment to ensure that the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops is regulated in South Australia,” he said.

”It has the primary purpose of permitting the regulation of GM food crops in order to prevent adverse market outcomes that may otherwise occur from the unregulated introduction of GM food crops into the State’s agricultural production systems.”

A requirement of the Act is that it be reviewed by the fourth anniversary of its commencement (ie by 29 April 2008).

GM food crops cannot be cultivated anywhere in South Australia, by virtue of the Genetically Modified Crops Management (Designation of Areas) Regulations 2004. These regulations expire on 29 April 2008.

An Invitation to Comment and an Information Paper can be downloaded at www.pir.sa.gov.au/gmc

Copies are also available from the Executive Officer of the GM Crop Advisory Committee - telephone 08 8207 2361 or email gmcropsactreview@saugov.sa.gov.au.

The health and environmental impacts of a genetically modified organism are assessed by the Federal Office of the Gene Technology Regulator and is not included in the review.

Community meetings will be held in Adelaide, Cummins, Kadina, Keith and Parndana during July 2007 and these will be widely promoted once the details are finalised.

Mr McEwen said that it was important that stakeholders made the time to comment to the GM Crop Advisory Committee.

”Several years ago, community groups on Kangaroo Island and Eyre Peninsula were keen to establish GM crop free areas for marketing purposes,” he said. ”It would be good to know whether they are still keen to pursue this option or not, or whether new issues have arisen.”

Submissions must be lodged by Friday, 3 August 2007.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  GM CANOLA TRIAL INFURIATES - LOBBY GROUP, SHIRE WERE UNAWARE

SOURCE: The Advertiser, Australia

AUTHOR: 

URL:    http://bendigo.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=general&story_id=1014688&category=general

DATE:   02.07.2007

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GM CANOLA TRIAL INFURIATES - LOBBY GROUP, SHIRE WERE UNAWARE

FURY has erupted over revelations a national seeding company has begun a genetically-modified canola trial at Baringhup West.

The move has sparked the ire of a central Victorian lobby group and caught Mount Alexander Shire unaware.

The trial, conducted by Pioneer seeding, is of HiBred Dupont canola and is taking place just metres from the Loddon River, 20km north-east of Maldon sparking fears of a downturn in central Victorian honey production.

But convenor of the Bendigo Genetic Engineering-Free group, Gill Rosier, said the introduction of commercial quantities of GM-canola was dangerous and threatened apiarists and farmers.

”It threatens apiarists who have not been told the trial crop is there,” she said.

Ms Rosier said it would lead to a loss of income for farmers who sold GM contaminated honey and organic apiarists would lose their certification.

”That would be a real kick in the teeth,” she said.

But Pioneer leader Keith Glasson played the trials down.

He said there would be no impact on honey production and the trial was about bringing choice to farmers.

But Ms Rosier said that was fundamentally not true.

”GE agriculture is a right-to-farm issue,” she said. ”It takes away other farmers’ rights to farm GE-free.”

Ms Rosier described the news as a shock and a huge step backwards.

Mount Alexander Shire chief executive, Adrian Robb, said he only learned about the trial on Friday and had found out the Department of Primary Industries knew nothing of the trial either.

”It’s still not clear how the approval happened,” he said.

The shire investigated at the weekend and would know know more today, the chief executive said.

In late May, Premier Steve Bracks announced a panel would review the state’s moratorium, or deferment of a decision, on commercial GM canola planting.

Greens MP Greg Barber said the moratorium should continue.

”The risks are to the neighbours and to the escape of those genes into wild plants, to users of the products and to our markets,” Mr Barber said.

Mount Alexander farmer Dave Gittus said he was in favour of treading lightly and using organic where possible.


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