Position Statements on Biotechnology
National Farmers' Federation, Australia (NFF)
The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) issued a statement strongly supporting genetically modified (GM) crops. In its position paper, NFF recognizes the potential of biotechnology, including gene technology, "as a valuable tool within agricultural production system".
NFF says the potential benefits of GM crops must not be overlooked and that Australian farmers stand to gain significant benefits from the use of these crops. "GM crops have the potential to reduce pesticide and herbicide use, increase water efficiency, tolerate adverse growing conditions and improve production yields", the paper said. But while potential benefits of GM crops are recognized, NFF advocates that producers should also understand and assess potential risks associated with the technology and implement appropriate strategies to manage such risks.
NFF clearly opposes any measures imposing barriers to the commercial release of GM crops that are scientifically proven safe and assessed by industry as favorable. Barriers to the commercial release of GM crops "may ultimately impede the ability of Australian farmers to remain competitive within the global market in the longer term".
"Farmers must be afforded choice in the method of production that best meets their business needs and best allows them to meet the expectations of markets", the paper said. "Any biotechnology regulatory system should not place unreasonable costs or burdens upon researchers and technology developers, or potential users or consumers of the product of biotechnology". NFF asserts that overall framework for the management of GM crops must clearly define the relationship between legislative requirements and industry expectations or standards.
that agricultural biotech should be a top priority for both public
and private sector research in Australia and calls for the government
to develop an operating environment that encourages research and development
of the technology up to the point of commercialization.
For more about NFF's Biotechnology Position Statement, visit http://www.nff.org.au/pages/sub/biotechnology_position.pdf
and Agricultural Organization
Society of African Scientists
United States of America
Biotechnology Advisory Committee
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