Regulation to be made under the state's Gene Technology Act to ensure that SDN-1 modified organisms are regulated as GMOs
EXCERPT: "This will maintain the status quo and provide a clear and consistent message in the market place for those Tasmanian businesses and industries that rely on Tasmania's GMO-free status," [Primary Industries Minister] Mr Barnett said.
Tasmania to change GMO regulations to protect brand status
The Examiner, 3 Sept 2019
The government has decided it will regulate gene-editing technology in light of federal regulatory changes.
Under the National Gene Technology Scheme, organisms modified using the SDN-1 technique will no longer be regulated as a genetically modified organism.
This is because organisms modified by this technique are considered indistinguishable from organisms that have naturally occurring mutations. [GMW: This is false. Provided the developer is required to put information on the genetic sequence into the public domain, the GMO will be distinguishable from any naturally occurring organism.]
Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett said this decision by the federal government did not pose a risk to the 10-year extension of the state's GMO moratorium.
"However, it may create issues for businesses that export to markets where SDN-1 modified organisms continue to be considered or regulated as GMOs," he said.
Mr Barnett said a regulation would be made under the state's Gene Technology Act to ensure that SDN-1 modified organisms were regulated as GMOs in the agri-food sector for marketing purposes.
This was decided after stakeholder consultation, he said.
"This will maintain the status quo and provide a clear and consistent message in the market place for those Tasmanian businesses and industries that rely on Tasmania's GMO-free status," Mr Barnett said.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said Mr Barnett should be commended for listening to the views of her party and industry.
But she said the regulations under the state's act may [not] be able to deal with the new gene-editing technology approved at a national level as federal law prevailed over state law.