06/12/2007 - 12:19

WA reaping benefits of Eastern States' GM decision: Chance

06/12/2007 - 12:19

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Western Australian canola growers are reaping early benefits of the Victorian and New South Wales Governments' decision to lift their moratorium on the commercial production of genetically modified crops, WA agriculture and food minister Kim Chance said.

WA reaping benefits of Eastern States' GM decision: Chance

Western Australian canola growers are reaping early benefits of the Victorian and New South Wales Governments' decision to lift their moratorium on the commercial production of genetically modified crops, WA agriculture and food minister Kim Chance said.

Following the Eastern States' decision, the Consumers Union of Japan, which recently visited Australia, has announced they would cease buying their canola from Victoria and New South Wales and purchase it from WA instead.

The Japanese co-operative currently buys up to 3,500 tonnes of canola from Victoria and New South Wales each year. However, they have now indicated they will be purchasing WA's GM-free canola.

"These companies know what their consumers want - clearly, that is a preference for GM-free foods," Mr Chance said.

"The State Government's disappointment with the Victorian and New South Wales Governments has been shared by Japanese consumers.

"However, consumer preference for GM-free food is not just a Japanese phenomenon. Consumers in Australia, Europe and, indeed, worldwide have a preference for GM-free food.

"The announcement by the Consumers Union of Japan provides an early vindication of the WA Government's commitment to retain its GM moratorium."

Mr Chance said WA farmers were already receiving substantial price premiums for their GM-free canola, and it made no sense to jeopardise the State's strong market position.

"Australia's leading food producers and retailers, including Goodman Fielder, Coles and Tatiara Meats, understand the importance of listening to their customers when it comes to preferences for non-GM foods," he said.

"The WA Government's attitude to GMs is clear - we will remain clean, green and GM-free unless our consumers tell us otherwise."

The Consumers Union of Japan recently visited Australia, urging the State Governments not to ignore the wishes of Japanese consumers by lifting their GM moratoria.

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