Tasmanian beekeepers threaten pollination ban if GM moratorium is lifted

Tasmanian beekeepers are fighting to keep the moratorium which prohibits the production of genetically modified foods in the state, and have threatened to instil a pollination ban if the GM moratorium is lifted.

The state of Tasmania holds a strong reputation for non-GM, clean and green food production which has been protected until the moratorium.

Lindsay Bourke, president of the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association said that the discontinuation of the GM ban would compromise access to markets in Asia and Europe, and in addition, the association will refuse to pollinate any GM crops, ABC Rural reports.

"One of the vegetable crops that we pollinate will be devastated, because we won't go anywhere near it," said Bourke.

"We won't go and pollinate if there is a GMO crop alongside that.

"We will go and produce honey."

However Dairy Tas, the peak industry body for Tasmanian dairy farmers, says that the failure to lift the ban would see dairy production in the state at a disadvantage, as competing states which do not have a GMO ban will have access to genetically modified grasses the allegedly produce higher yields and lower inputs.

Executive office of Dairy Tas, Mark Smith says that the final decision should come down to facts based on science.

"The assessment will need to be done by people who can have a good clear objective look at it.

"They need to have a good clear look at the situation, so that we're not driven by fear, misinformation and assumption," he said.

The moratorium is currently under review as it is due to expire in November next year.


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