South Australia’s GM moratorium under review


It is anticipated that the impact of South Australia remaining GM-free will be addressed with two reviews currently underway into the South Australian (SA) GM moratorium; one by government and one by an independent reviewer.

The two reviews are:

  • An Inquiry by a Select Committee of the Legislative Council on Moratorium on the Cultivation of Genetically Modified Crops in South Australia; and
  • A Review of the South Australian GM Food Crop Moratorium.

Inquiry by a Select Committee An Inquiry has been established to inquire into and report on the moratorium on the cultivation of GM crops in South Australia, with specific reference to:

  1. The benefits and costs of South Australia being GM-free for the state, its industries and people;
  2. The effect of the moratorium on marketing SA products both nationally and internationally;
  3. The difference between GM and non-GM crops in relation to yield, chemical use and other agricultural and environmental factors;
  4. Any long term environmental effects of growing GM crops including soil health;
  5. The potential for contamination of non-GM or organic crops by GM crops, including: i. Consideration of matters relating to the segregation of GM and non-GM crops in the paddock, in storage and during transportation; ii. The potential impacts of crop contamination on non-GM and organic farmers; iii. Consideration of GM contamination cases interstate and internationally; and
  6. Any other matters that the Committee considers relevant. 

More information can be found at: Select Committee on Moratorium on the Cultivation of Genetically Modified Crops in South Australia and submissions are due by 19 October 2018.

Independent review of SA’s moratorium

An independent review of SA’s moratorium on the cultivation of GM food crops is underway and will be undertaken by Emeritus Professor Kym Anderson AC.

The current moratorium exists for trade and market access purposes. Once completed, the review will enable better informed policy decisions regarding GM food crops in South Australia.

Under the terms of reference, the review will:

  1. Assess available evidence on the market benefits of South Australia’s moratorium on the commercial cultivation of GM crops.
  2. Assess the degree of awareness of South Australia’s moratorium amongst key trading partners and food production businesses operating in South Australia and other Australian states.
  3. Where there is evidence of market benefits resulting from the moratorium, examine whether it is possible to retain such benefits for industry through the use of systems of segregation in the supply chain, having regard to segregation protocols adopted in other jurisdictions.
  4. Consider evidence from South Australian businesses and industry, market and trade data, the experience in other Australian and international jurisdictions and other relevant evidence to inform the analysis.
  5. Explore whether there are potential innovations likely to be available for commercial adoption by South Australia’s agricultural industries prior to 2025 that would justify a reconsideration of the moratorium on grounds of economic benefit to the state.
  6. Quantify where possible the economic costs and benefits of maintaining, modifying or removing the moratorium, not limited to but including on-farm impacts, food manufacturing, supply chain costs and impacts on research and development investment in South Australia.

More information can be found at: Review of the South Australian GM Food Crop Moratorium and submissions are due by 26 October 2018.