AWB today reaffirmed its support for co-existence trials for GM canola to proceed in Australia as an important step in ensuring the grains industry moves forward.
AWB Managing Director Andrew Lindberg said that, as a market-focused company, AWB is committed to capturing the greatest value for Australian grains on behalf of Australian wheat growers and, in so doing, does not support the immediate commercial release of GM canola due to the potential impact this would have on the marketing of Australian wheat.
“However, we do support co-existence trials that rigorously test the industry’s ability to segregate GM canola and non-GM grains through the supply chain and guarantee product integrity,” said Mr Lindberg.
AWB believes that the industry needs to develop, test and prove an appropriate supply chain system that can segregate GM canola and non-GM grains and guarantee product integrity for its domestic and international customers.
“Without a framework for trials that take the industry forward there is no solution to the GM issue. This can only be achieved through a program including co-existence trials developed by the industry and subject to appropriate protocols,” said Mr Lindberg.
“For this reason, and because we have been party to the development of appropriate protocols in NSW, we have indicated to support trials jointly proposed for that state by Bayer and Monsanto.
“Our support for trials in NSW is subject to the condition that any GM canola produced in the trial not be exported but used only domestically for stockfeed or further research
“Once trials have been completed and properly evaluated the industry will then be in a position to address any issues that arise in protecting product integrity and our international markets.
“The concept of co-existence in the supply chain underpins the introduction of GM canola into Australia. Without these trials the industry will not be in a position to determine whether it can work,” said Mr Lindberg.