A delegation of Japanese anti-GM activists recently visited Australia demanding our farmers not grow genetically modified canola and then the Australian Democrats declared “keeping Australia GMO free” a federal election issue.
Today the Australian Oilseeds Federation has responded with a media release:
“The Australian Oilseeds Federation (AOF) urges recognition of the Australian grains industry’s capacity to deliver choice across the supply chain spectrum with the commercialisation of approved GM canola.
The capacity to deliver choice is built on the comprehensive and world-class protocols and processes that already operate in the Australian grains industry to enable grains and grain products to meet regulatory and customer specifications, and provide confidence to consumers.
Commenting on some recent claims from lobbyists that the Japanese market didn’t want GM canola, President of the Australian Oilseeds Federation, Robert Green, said the opposite is true.
“Japan has purchased GM canola from Canada for many years. Indeed, more than 80% of Japan’s canola imports are from Canada, and this is generally mixed with canola from Australia and from other countries,” he said.
“However, the AOF and the grains industry supply chain do recognise that within some markets there may be customers who prefer non-GM products.”
Mr Green said this is precisely what the Australian grains industry supply chain has considered, addressed and endorsed.
“If customers wish to purchase non-GM grain they can do so with confidence, knowing that the supply chain can be managed to meet their needs.
In August, the industry released a report signed-off by 29 key industry organisations.
Mr Green said this report demonstrates the industry’s capacity to manage canola in the supply chain and move ahead with the commercialisation of the approved GM canola varieties, whilst still ensuring the supply of non-GM canola.
“In endorsing this report, the AOF supports the lifting of the market-based moratoria so that farmers who want access to the approved GM varieties can choose to benefit from the technology, just as their competitors in Canada have been choosing to do for the past decade.”
Mr Green notes that the moratoria are concerned with market and trade considerations, the crux of which is the ability to deliver choice.
“Australia has a global reputation for delivering quality grain and oilseed products that meet customer specifications and requirements, and as such, has the capacity and flexibility within its supply chain to deliver choice and meet market requirements,” he said.