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GMO-FREE REGIONS & PRODUCTS: Bracks Government (Victoria,Australia) takes a careful approach on GM



                                 PART I
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Bracks Government takes a careful approach on GM
SOURCE: The Government of Victoria, Australia
AUTHOR: Press Release
URL:    http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/newmedia.nsf/
798c8b072d117a01ca256c8c0019bb01/591e385ff4b95099ca2572dc000172f4!OpenDocument
DATE:   14.05.2007
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Bracks Government takes a careful approach on GM

The Bracks Government will consult widely with industry groups and the
community before making a decision on whether to continue a moratorium
on commercial planting of Genetically Modified (GM) canola, Minister for
Agriculture, Joe Helper, said today.

"The current moratorium is due to expire on 29 February 2008. No
decision has been made on whether to extend the moratorium or allow it
to expire," Mr Helper said.

"The Bracks Government will be consulting industry groups and the
community before taking any such decision.

"Details of that process will be announced soon."

Mr Helper said the Federal Office of Gene Technology Regulator was
responsible for assessing the human and environmental risks of GM foods.

The two varieties of GM Canola listed under the moratorium were approved
by the Regulator in 2003, after it found they posed no greater risk to
human health or the environment than conventionally bred canola.

State governments are responsible for assessing potential impacts on trade.

"In Victoria, the focus will be on what impact the use of this
technology would have on our trade markets if the moratorium was
lifted," Mr Helper said.

"The Federal Government assesses human health and environmental impacts."

The Bracks Government introduced the Control of GM Crops Act in 2004.
Under that Act a moratorium order was placed on the commercial growing
of genetically modified canola in Victoria.

The moratorium will expire on 29 February 2008 unless a new moratorium
order is signed by the Minister for Agriculture.

Legislated moratoria on GM crops are in place in all Australian states
and territories except Queensland and the Northern Territory. NSW's and
South Australia's moratoriums also expire in early 2008.

While commercial GM canola crops are not allowed to be grown in
Australia, imported GM foods could be sold in Australia. The national
body Food Standards Australia New Zealand require that all GM food or
ingredients sold in Australia undergo a pre-market safety assessment. If
a food, food ingredient, additive or processing aid is approved for sale
it must be labelled with the words 'genetically modified'.


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                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Govt to consult over GM ban expiry
SOURCE: The Age, Australia
AUTHOR: Australian Associated Press, Australia
URL:    http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Govt-to-consult-over-GM-
ban-expiry/2007/05/14/1178995069345.html
DATE:   14.05.2007
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Govt to consult over GM ban expiry

The Victorian government says it is yet to make a decision on whether
its ban on genetically modified (GM) crops will be extended or allowed
to expire.

Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said Victoria's moratorium on GM crops
would expire on February 29 next year and talks would be held ahead of
any change.

"No decision has been made on whether to extend the moratorium or allow
it to expire," Mr Helper said.

"The Bracks government will consult industry groups and the community
before taking any such decision."

Mr Helper said the consultation process would consider the trade
implications of the move, as the federal Office of Gene Technology
Regulator was responsible for ruling on the human and environmental
risks of GM foods.

The commonwealth body had already found the two varieties of GM canola
banned in Victoria posed no greater risk to human health or the
environment than conventionally grown canola, Mr Helper said.

"The federal government assesses human health and environmental
impacts ... in Victoria, the focus will be on what impact the use of
this technology would have on our trade markets if the moratorium was
lifted," he said.

Victoria moved to ban the commercial growing of GM canola in 2004 and
moratoriums are also in place in all Australian states and territories
except Queensland and the Northern Territory.

NSW's and South Australia's moratoriums also expire in early 2008.


-------------------- archived at  http://www.gene.ch/ --------------------


                                 PART III
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  No decision yet on GM canola crops
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia
AUTHOR: 
URL:    http://www.abc.net.au/news/items/200705/1923101.htm?victoria
DATE:   15.05.2007
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No decision yet on GM canola crops

The Victorian Government says a decision on the future of a moratorium
on genetically modified (GM) canola crops has not yet been made.

It has been reported the Government will allow the ban on GM crops to
expire in February next year.

Agriculture Minister Joe Helper says despite pressure from farming
groups to end the moratorium, the decision is not a fait accompli.

But Mr Helper says the Government will move quickly to make a decision.

"We know that clearly we have to reach a decision with the moratorium
set to sunset on the 29th of February, 2008," he said.

"So we appreciate the fact that we have to consult very quickly and for
Government to then reach a decision based on that consultation."

Mr Helper says the Government will not be trying to read the public mood
on the issue too soon.

"I'm certainly not planning to, and the Government is not planning to
rush to a conclusion before we've actually started the consultative
process, so we will do that," he said.

"We welcome very much engagement by stakeholders - whether they be
industry, whether they be community."


-------------------- archived at  http://www.gene.ch/ --------------------


                                 PART IV
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  No word on GM moratorium
SOURCE: The Standard, Australia
AUTHOR: Terry Sim
URL:    http://the.standard.net.au/articles/2007/05/16/1178995199439.html
DATE:   16.05.2007
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No word on GM moratorium

DROUGHT, dairy and genetically modified crops were on the agenda for
Victorian Agriculture Minister Joe Helper in south-west Victoria yesterday.

Mr Helper lauded the south-west dairy industry while opening a new
$400,000 multi-purpose facility at Terang's DemoDAIRY demonstration farm.

The Government recognised the importance that the dairy industry played
in the south-west, Mr Helper said. But the minister remained non-
committal on the potential for lifting a moratorium on genetically
modified crops in

February next year, an issue concerning dairy farmers required to limit
GM feed in cow rations.

Mr Helper would not disclose his personal opinion on genetically
modified crops and food, but said the State Government would consider
trade and market issues.

"We will make a decision based on what we hear from our industry and
from our community and from our stakeholders," he said.

"If I wanted to scuttle the debate and turn it into a relatively
unproductive slinging match I would express my personal view.

"I would rather have the genuine discussion with stakeholders without
that being prejudiced by myself expressing my views."

A delegation of dairy farmers later met with the minister to discuss
drought assistance, the fodder shortage, water planning and GM crops. A
spokeswoman said the meeting was "extremely positive."


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