Western Australia may adopt blanket GM crops ban
WA may adopt GM crops ban
ABC NEWS ONLINE
Fri, 12 Dec 2003 9:43am AWST
The Western Australian Government could impose a blanket ban on all commercially grown genetically-modified (GM) crops in the State within months after changes to the legislation passed through State Parliament.
Upper House MPs have accepted a report from a committee chaired by Greens' MP Christine Sharp.
The report says there are major advantages for WA if it can market its exports internationally as totally GM-free.
It recommended that the Minister for Agriculture adopt a gatekeeper approach to GM crops to give certainty to WA farmers.
Dr Sharp says closing the gate now is the only way to ensure the State's crops are not contaminated.
"It's really important for us to declare WA statewide GM-free because that gives us a window of opportunity to increase out market share in Europe, in Japan and to advance our clean, green image," she said.
The State Government is likely to move quickly to issue a general order, banning all commercial GM crops from Western Australia. The Minister for Agriculture, Kim Chance, says WA farmers want to be able to take advantage of potential markets in Europe.
"They want much clearer signals from their market about where we're going and where Western Australia's place is going to be in the international market and are we going to have an opportunity to capitalise on our GM-free status," he said.