Promoting science and evidence in Agritech’s gene technology debate


The fourth edition of the 'Official Australian Reference Guide to Agricultural Biotechnology and GM Crops' (the Guide) has been launched by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA).

The Guide considers the latest developments in agritech, with a focus on the role of gene-editing. It also includes regulation requirements across the country, and how consumer attitudes have evolved, in Australia and globally.

ABCA said, the Guide “provides credible, balanced, science-based information on agricultural biotechnology to allow for informed decisions about the application, uses and future of agricultural biotechnology in Australia, and a better understanding of its benefits and safety.”

Chairman of ABCA, Ken Matthews AO, said, “In an increasingly alarming world of fake news, alternative facts, disinformation, disdain for experts, suspicion of science, opinions trumping evidence, and blindly partisan position-taking, we need more reliable, accessible, and factual inputs to a public debate on matters of science.

“This is the agriculture industry that exists and must be promoted. Just as people concerned about climate change urge us to listen to the science, so too should the science and evidence be front and centre in the gene technology debate.”

With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, agricultural technologists and food science researchers must develop tools to reach a growing population’s needs. An increasing number of Australian farms are R&D driven, technologically advanced, capital intensive, and entrepreneurial. The agritech and foodtech industry strives to enhance seeds and crops, improve diet and provide functional foods for preventative health.

AusBiotech is a founding member of ABCA. ABCA aims to ensure that the Australian farming sector can appropriately access and adopt biotechnology for the benefit of national and global food security, the nation’s farming sector, and the environment, thus helping to deliver a more sustainable and prosperous future for Australian agriculture.

Download and read the Guide here.