The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE)has just issued a media release:
Australia’s GM-free stance on planting transgenic canola could result in significant losses for Australian farmers, according to the September issue of Australian Commodities released today by Dr Brian Fisher, Executive Director of ABARE.
Although Australia’s gene technology regulator has approved transgenic canola for commercial planting, state and territory legislators have established moratoriums prohibiting the growing of transgenic canola. Moratoriums on commercialising transgenic canola currently exist in all states and territories except Queensland and
the Northern Territory.
“ABARE modeling has found that failure to commercialise transgenic crops now and in the near future could, by 2015, cost Australians $3 billion,” Dr Fisher said.
Continued growth in the adoption of transgenic crops and continued development of new varieties of transgenic crops in Asia and in north and south America will potentially result in Australian grain and oilseed producers competing with increasing volumes of transgenic grains and oilseeds in export markets. This is likely to result in
lower profitability and lower market share for conventional grain crops, which are more expensive to produce than transgenic varieties.
“The current moratoriums are having a negative impact on Australia’s research and development effort, and Australia risks being left behind as other nations embrace innovations in transgenic crop development,” warned Dr Fisher.
Australian canola producers are already competing with transgenic canola seed in their major export markets. Australian producers of other conventional grains also face a future in which they potentially are forced to compete with lower cost transgenic crops grown in Asia and in north and south America.
For media interviews and comment, contact report author Stephen Apted on 02 6272 2059.
For copies of the article Transgenic crops: welfare implications for Australia, please visit the ABARE web site www.abareconomics.com or phone 02 6272 2010. This article is contained in the September 2005 issue of Australian Commodities.