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Challenge to organic industry to co-exist with GM

Now that the moratorium on applications for release of GM crops has expired the organics industry has some serious thinking to do the says Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston.

The organics industry should take the opportunity to engage with scientists, developers and non-organic farmers to develop effective co-existence strategies for the future.

While the details of appropriate co-existence arrangements will be determined by ERMA on a case by case basis it would save time and trouble all round if some principles could be agreed before the first application for release was lodged.

Now that the new law is in place the organic industry has as much responsibility as any other group in agriculture to make sure co-existence succeeds.

The alternative is a long drawn out struggle which will result in negative outcomes for rural communities.

Farming neighbours have cooperated for many generations to sort out co-existence issues between different types of agricultural practice the current situation should be no different, concluded Dr Rolleston.

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