Agriculture Minister Kim Chance today welcomed news from grain marketer Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) that further testing of Western Australian canola revealed no traces of Genetically Modified (GM) material.
Mr Chance said the detection of trace levels of GM contamination in preliminary tests of WA canola were not substantiated on further stringent tests performed recently overseas.
“This is good news for the WA canola industry and the agricultural industry at large,” he said.
“However, this incident has highlighted a number of issues associated with GM technology, including market sensitivity to even low levels of GM material.
“It also reveals the real difficulties associated with co-existence, segregation and industry self-regulation, the need for more stringent testing for the early detection of GM material in seeds, and the need to develop an adequate legal framework should contamination events occur in the future.
“I remain convinced that, at this time, WA should remain free from the commercial production of GM crops.”
WA has been a declared GM-free area since the Gallop Government announced a moratorium on the commercial production of GM crops in 2001.
The moratorium supports the State’s ‘clean and green’ status and is also reflective of overwhelming public opinion in WA and consumer sentiment around the world.
“The State Government’s stance on GM food crops will protect the lifestyle of our farming communities by protecting our overseas markets and environment,” the Minister said.
“It will also ensure that WA consumers continue to have a choice about the food they wish to eat.
“The Gallop Government is committed to protecting its moratorium and enhancing WA’s unique environment.”
Minister's office: 9213 6700