National Farmers’ Federation
National Farmers’ Federation recognises the potential of biotechnology (including gene technology) as a valuable tool within agricultural production systems. The responsible and strategic application of biotechnology within Australia’s production systems will result in significant benefits for Australian farmers, the environment, consumers and the Australian economy as a whole.
It is important that, in deciding the extent to which Australia harnesses the potential of biotechnology and the conditions permitting its safe and effective utilisation, all Australians can access relevant and factual information on potential benefits and associated risks of adopting this technology. It is also critical that these potential benefits and associated risks are assessed in the context of Australian production systems, Australian supply chains and Australian markets both domestic and overseas.
For more information: www.nff.org.au/pages/sub/biotechnology_position.pdf
New South Wales
NSW Farmers’ Association
The New South Wales Farmers’ Association GM policy is to:
- give priority to achieving removal of the GM crop moratorium via a high profile public stance and proactive participation in the review process in a coordinated campaign with the farmer organisations of other states;
- lobby for further work on GM take all resistance to be continued in Australia; and
- lobby for further funding for research and development into conferring drought resistance in crops using GM techniques.
For more information: www.nswfarmers.org.au
The role of genetically modified organisms in agriculture remains an emotional topic. The WGG wants to see a science-based approach to all assessment of GMO crops.
The PGA supports the approach of the national Producers Forum, whose aim is:
To promote informed discussion and decision making on agricultural biotechnology between rural and metropolitan communities and policy makers, for the benefit of all Australians, to ensure rural viability, environmental sustainability, and consumer and producer choice.
WGG policy positions on GMOs:
- Cessation of the WA moratorium on GMO crops
- Adoption of a quantitative standard of contamination (i.e. EU’s <0.9%)
- Allow immediate trials of GMO crops based on scientific data and international experience
For more information:
Western Australian Farmers’ Federation (WAFarmers)
WA Farmers supports the lifting of the current State Government moratorium on the commercial release of GM canola.
WA Farmers supports future research and development into GM crops and pastures.
WA Farmers supports Australian and State Government tolerance levels of 0.9 per cent in crops and 0.5 per cent in seeds.
WA Farmers supports the Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) and its charter to protect the health and safety of Australians and the Australian environment.
WA Farmers supports the development of protocols for the commercialisation of GM grains in the WA grains industry including intellectual property rights, contamination, segregation, licensing, protection of individual growers and legal liability issues.
For more information:[email protected]
South Australian Farmers’ Federation
The Federation’s current policy focuses on the use of gene technology in primary production and is broken down into four main areas that include legislation and regulation, research and development, education and consumer demand.
- Legislation and regulation – The Federation supports the national framework of the OGTR, provided that the Regulator has clearly defined roles and responsibilities and provides adequate resources and support generated by the Commonwealth and not from industry sources.
- Research and development – There is a need for further scientific research to be conducted on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), so that the most up to date and relevant technology is available to South Australian farmers.
- Education – The Federation believes there is a need for further education for farmers, users, customers and consumers on the technology so informed decisions on the risks and opportunities involved in the adoption of the technology can be made.
- Consumer demand – The Federation believes that the ultimate decision regarding adoption of gene technology rests entirely with the marketplace when taking into account financial, environmental and philosophical reasons. However, in choosing such a status there must be no negative impact on those who choose not to embrace the technology.
Ultimately, SAFF believes the decision to adopt the technology, once it has passed through the framework, must rest entirely with the individual and primarily influenced by market demand.
For more information: www.saff.com.au/site/page.cfm?area_id=10&nav_id=549
Victorian Farmers’ Federation
Advances in biotechnology including gene technology will continue to have an enormous impact on global society. It is difficult to overstate the implications of these new technologies for agriculture. Modifications to the genetic make up of living organisms generate an emotional response from many people. The application of gene technology inevitably involves a degree of public controversy and, consumer acceptance of products produced using gene technology cannot be assumed. These issues need to be carefully managed and the VFF should be an important participant in the debate.
For more information: [email protected]
AgForce Grains supports:
- Continued research into trialing and testing of individual agricultural products.
- The comprehensive and rigorous science-based assessment of genetically modified species and products.
- The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator in ensuring that responsibility of research trials to be strictly contained within the legislated guidelines.
- Grain growers having access to an affordable choice of the latest research technology that is best suited to their production needs.
- Further education and balance in information to the general public regarding their uses of gene technology.
- Individual grain growers having the right to maintain their current farming and marketing practices in the event of the release of GMO crop varieties for commercial production.
For more information: [email protected]
Queensland Farmers’ Federation
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation does not have a formal gene technology policy.
For more information: [email protected]
Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association
The TFGA arrived at the following position after considerable research and extended consultation across internal committee structures, a public forum and members workshop.
- A vital role for the Tasmanian Government is to continue to support efforts of the Tasmanian agricultural sector to realise its full potential in terms of diverse, profitable and sustainable local industries. This includes active support to industry to explore the potential benefits of new technologies.
- As part of this role, it is legitimate for the Tasmanian Government to consider market implications for the wider industry associated with adoption of new technologies by any part of it.
- Gene Technology represents a major opportunity for the Tasmanian agricultural sector to achieve medium and long term growth and efficiency gains.
- The current blanket Tasmanian Government moratorium on the use of GMO in Tasmania is not the best policy in the circumstances, because its very nature prevents any meaningful exploration of possibilities to develop Gene Technology for the benefit of Tasmania’s agricultural industries.
- Systematic case- by-case consideration of GMO is the most appropriate way for Government to approach this issue. Key issues for Government in this regard are human and environmental safety, field containment of plants and plant material, and market implications.
- The key determinant of whether a GMO is allowed into Tasmania should be whether it has signoff by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), with regard to human and environmental safety, and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), with regard to domestic food standards requirements.
- The Tasmanian Government has an important role in decisions relating to field containment, but this should be restricted to specifying the containment standards.
- A benefit-cost analysis should be applied before making a decision on marketing grounds. Product and market strategy is for individual enterprises or industry segments to decide. The Tasmanian Government’s role should be to assess, in conjunction with industry, whether individual proposals to introduce a GMO threaten the markets of the agricultural industry as a whole, and the likely significance of any threat.
- An important role of the Tasmanian Government is the active encouragement of local Research & Development into GM opportunities.
- Existing common law processes and remedies should be the underpinning basis for addressing disputes between individuals with regard to GMO related issues.