GMOs and organic agriculture: Six lessons from Australia

Agriculture & Forestry - John Paull

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

"Looks at the possibility of Organic Agriculture and agriculture using GMOs and if they can co-exist - the future is very unclear with many challenges ahead."

What is the problem?

Australia has 12.0 million hectares of certified organic land compared to the world total of 37.5 million hectares

In a recent court case in WA, an organic farmer lost his organic certification because of GMO contamination.

This paper examines the judgment, in the light of the trial transcript of this landmark case, with the view to determining the implications for the future of organic farming and GMO farming, and in particular to ascertain what lessons can be learned from this litigation.

What were the key findings?

This case has provided no assurance that organic farming and GMO farming can happily coexist under the current legal framework.
The organic farmer in the case has regained his organic certification after a three years, but there is no constraint on GM farmers to contain their crops within their boundaries, and no recognition in the case that GM crops are a source of contamination for organic farmers.

Final comment

The matter is subject to an appeal.

2015 - Australia - Agriculture & Forestry - John Paull
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