Gene Technology and Primary IndustriesSince 2001, the Tasmanian Government has maintained a policy on gene technology and primary industries which includes a ban on commercial release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the Tasmanian environment. This position was adopted after a parliamentary committee found that use of gene technology has potential to impact negatively upon Tasmania’s ability to market locally-produced food under a clean, green banner.
The policy was reviewed in 2003 at which time Government could find no reason to change. As a result, the moratorium was extended until November 2009 under the Genetically Modified Organisms Control Act 2004.
In July 2007, a second policy review was undertaken by a new Joint Select Committee. The committee released its report in August 2008 and recommended that the moratorium should be extended for another five years. The committee's report is available at www.parliament.tas.gov.au
In response to the 2007/08 Joint Select Committee’s findings, the Tasmanian Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the existing position, and has released an updated Policy Statement: Gene Technology and Tasmanian Primary Industries 2009-2014.
On 20 May 2009, the Tasmanian Parliament agreed to legislation to extend the GM moratorium for a further five years.
See also: Information about the national scheme for regulation of dealings with genetically modified organisms can be found at the website of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator at www.ogtr.gov.au
Information about national regulation of food derived from genetically modified organisms can be found at the website of Food Standards Australia and New Zealand at www.foodstandards.gov.au
Contact: Agricultural Policy BranchPolicy Division
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
PO Box 46
KINGS MEADOWS TAS 7249
Phone: 1300 368 550
Department switchboard: 1300 368 550 (local call cost)
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