GM moratorium common sense (12/2/2008)

GM crops decision is common sense
Adelaide Advertiser (Letters), February 8 2008

The Rann government's decision to maintain the moratorium on genetically modified crops in South Australia is a victory for common sense and the precautionary principle.

The current GM crops are faulty products since they allow genetic contamination of neighbouring farms. Maintenance of parallel GM and truly non-GM grain production streams is impractical.

When GM crops are allowed into an area, the non-GM farmers must capitulate to the GM lobby or shut up shop.

South Australian scientists do outstanding research in the genetic modification of crops for useful purposes such as adapting Australia's food production to climate change. There may come a time when their work must be exploited for the good of all.

However, at the moment, these beneficial uses of GM technology are being used as an argument to permit the introduction of GM crops that have few if any long term benefits and many serious drawbacks. They simply permit the take-over of our food supply by multinational corporations.

In a world with faltering oil production and with phosphate extraction in decline, industrial-scale agriculture has a questionable future. We must explore other paths to food security and the maintenance of the GM moratorium ensures that we can.

Michael Lardelli, Senior Lecturer in Genetics, The University of Adelaide

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