Agri-biotech companies across all mainland Australian States now stand in-line with their global competitors, after the expiration of the NSW Government’s 18-year moratorium on genetically-modified crop innovations commenced this month.
Having long-lasting and certainty of access to current and future GM crops approved for commercialisation will encourage stronger research and innovation, and support the sector’s abilities to reach the growing population’s needs.
Access will be maintained to all GM crops that have been approved through the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator’s robust assessments.
An increasing number of Australian farms are R&D driven, technologically advanced, capital intensive, and entrepreneurial. The agritech industry strives to enhance seeds and crops, improve diet and provide functional foods for preventative health.
Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, Mr Matthew Cossey, said “Having access to GM crops is only going to become more important as farmers continue to face periods of drought and increasingly harsher conditions in a changing climate.
“The importance of food security highlighted by the pandemic is a prime example of the continuous need for exploration and development of agricultural innovations via both conventional systems and modern approaches, such as genetic modification, gene editing and in chemical and biological crop protection.
“A major strength of biotechnology is that it does so much more than boost agricultural yields. Biotechnology has strong environmental and industrial credentials and presents substantial possibilities in medicine and healthcare for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of serious illness and disease.”