Archive for April, 2015


Growers say canola production down in South Australia due to GM moratorium

20 April 2015. Source: SA Country Hour (ABC Radio)

Grain producers in South Australia are warning canola production will keep declining in the state if they are unable to plant genetically modified varieties.

CEO of Grain Producers South Australia, Darren Arney, said low prices and high production costs led to a huge reduction in the amount of canola being planted in the state this year.

He said South Australian growers were competing with Canada and the other Australian states who could grow GM varieties.

Until they were able to use those varieties, he said, it would be an uphill battle to grow the crop.

“We need a lift in the price now if Canada’s growing a lot more canola year on year it’s going to be hard to see that price come up,” Mr Arney said.

“Until we have access to the same technology that other producers in Australia have, then I guess we’ll see less canola and more cereal.

“(It means) less risk and, over time, potentially less production or less productivity from the state while we wait for the technology to come through.”


Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce calls on South Australia to drop GM moratorium

17 April 2015. Source: SA Country Hour (ABC Radio)

Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has urged South Australia to reconsider its moratorium on genetically-modified crops.

Mr Joyce, speaking a dinner for agri-business leaders in Adelaide, said it was time South Australia became a ‘yes’ state.

He said South Australia needed to approve genetically modified crops and nuclear power production.

Mr Joyce said Adelaide was at risk of being overtaken by Darwin as the major city in central Australia.

“It’s a tale of two cities and it’s not Paris and London but it is Adelaide and Darwin and one city keeps saying yes, yes, yes and growing and planning for growth,” he said

“Unless we get the same vitality in Adelaide, Darwin will overtake them as the main city of central Australia, with a choice between Darwin and Adelaide… the business will go north and the prosperity will be closely in tow with it.




15 April 2015. Source: Pulp & Paper Canada

Brazil has become the first jurisdiction worldwide to permit the commercial use of FuturaGene’s genetically engineered eucalyptus. The Brazilian National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) approved the commercial use of the yield-enhanced eucalyptus developed by FuturaGene. According to the company, field experiments conducted since 2006 at various locations in Brazil have demonstrated an approximate 20% increase in yield compared to its equivalent conventional variety.

The company says this approval represents the most significant productivity milestone for the renewable plantation forest industry since the adoption of clonal technology in the early 1990s. This approval enables the production of more fiber using less resources.

An impact study produced last year by Pöyry Silviconsult forecasts the potential gains of applying the genetically engineered eucalyptus technology to the entire Brazilian eucalyptus plantation area by the year 2050. It concludes that this variety of eucalyptus will be ready to harvest in 5.5 years compared with the seven-year harvest of conventional eucalyptus on Brazilian forestry plantations. Consequently, it will require 13% fewer hectares to meet the same wood demand as existing crops.

FuturaGene states that its yield-enhanced eucalyptus has been under development since 2001 and has undergone extensive biosafety assessment prior to submission for commercial approval. According to Dr. Stanley Hirsch, FuturaGene CEO, the company has several additional products at different stages of development in its pipeline.


1 April 2015. Source: Ballarat Courier

THE Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia has launched the second edition of The Official Australian Reference Guide to Agricultural Biotechnology and GM Crops at last week’s 15th annual Science Meets Parliament event in Canberra.

The launch was a focus of the council’s first bi-annual meeting this year held at Parliament House in Canberra.

The updated booklet provides information about genetically modified crops based on scientific evidence. Topics covered include the science, performance, safety and regulation of GM crops as well as products in the pipeline and the commercial and market realities. The guide also gives a voice to farmers actually using GM crops and answers some common questions regarding stockfeed, the organisations involved in GM crop research, and food safety.

“Genetic modification of crops has been an unnecessarily contentious issue in Australian food and agriculture for decades,” Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia chairman Ken Matthews said.

“It is only through the consideration of hard research, market and health data, as well as the experiences of scientists, farmers and consumers around the world, that a mature and reasoned debate can be achieved in Australia. The Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia has developed the Guide to provide factual information about GM crops.”

Agricultural biotechnology is being put forward as part of the solution to some of the world’s biggest challenges including: a rapidly growing world population, climate change and growing pressure on natural resources such as water and arable land.

Over the past 19 years over 450 billion acres of biotech crops have been planted across 20 developing and eight industrialised countries representing more than 60 per cent of the world’s population. This 100-fold increase makes biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent times.

Despite the widespread adoption by farmers, the technology continues to stimulate considerable community debate.

The guide presents information on coexistence in farming and the on-farm management practices and systems currently in place that maintain the integrity of both GM and non-GM crops. The long track record of farmers using different agricultural production methods alongside each other both here and overseas reaffirm that all agricultural production methods can and should work to coexist to deliver the best of Australian agriculture.

The Official Australian Reference Guide to Agricultural Biotechnology and GM Crops is available online at www.