GMO Crops in Australia

In Australia the only GMO crops that have been approved are cotton, which has been grown for 10 years, and canola which was approved in 2003 by the federal government. It took until 2007 to overcome state bans, some of which still stretch until 2009. Currently (in 2008) canola can be grown in both Victoria and NSW on a limited basis.

Australian farmers on the whole are not happy about the lifting of bans on GMO crops in Australia recently.

Worldwide GMO crops have increased from 10-15 million acres in 1997 to over 200 million acres in 2007 across 22 countries.

The greatest issue still seems to be the cross-pollination across GMO crops to organic and conventional (non-GMO) crops.This genetic contamination is already evident in Australia.
Biotech canola genes have already been discovered in two non-GM varieties of canola despite the fact that the GM ban still covers more than half of the entire country.

Non-GMO farmers in Australia indicate that the lifting of the state bans does them no favours, as the only thing that keeps the Australian canola and soy bean markets competitive is that Australia is one of the only GMO-free markets left.
Soy beans are supposedly the next crop on the list to have the ban lifted, and farmers already have the problem of bees moving between the two crops to cause genetic contamination.

What do YOU think?

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