GM Reports Reinforce the Need to Preserve Opportunities Monday, Apr 21, 2003
Reports on the impacts of Genetically Modified Organisms released by the Government today reinforce the need to preserve opportunities, says Federated Farmers National Board member Neil Barton.
"The report on the Co-existence of GM and Agricultural Crops reinforced the findings of the Royal Commission on GM and the Federation's gene policy, said Mr Barton. "GM and conventional crops can co-exist given New Zealand's robust regulatory regime based on case-by-case assessment and a whole of production chain approach.
"The Economic Analysis paper, while very broad in its assumptions, shows that the most likely economic impact from the careful and considered release of GMO would be a small increase in GDP over 10 years, compared to a small decrease from forgoing GM releases.
"The lifting of the Moratorium on the commercial release of GM will not see a rush to grow GM commodity crops. The main attraction for farmers will be high value, low volume niche marketing opportunities such as bio-farming.
"Farmers are business people and they will not produce products that consumers do not want. However, GM technology offers significant opportunities in terms of production gains which farmers will need to remain competitive given their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.
"New Zealand farmers rely on science to maintain the international competitiveness of our low cost production system. Why would we want to move away from science now?"