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Industry backs genetically modified crops inquiry

THE plant science industry has welcomed calls for an inquiry into the impacts of existing regulated genetically modified crops.

CropLife Australia CEO Matthew Cossey said such an inquiry would affirm public confidence in the regulatory system, and demonstrate the agronomic and environmental benefits GM crops like cotton and canola had bought.

"The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator assesses each and every human health and environmental risk that may be posed by a new GM crop before it can be licensed and commercially grown in Australia," he said.

"To date, all GM crops that have been approved for commercial release in Australia have been deemed as safe as their conventional counterparts."

Independent senator Nick Xenophon has called for a Senate Inquiry into GM crop farming.

It comes after a West Australian farmer lost his organic certification after his neighbour's GM crop spread to his property.

That case will face the West Australian Supreme Court next year.

Mr Cossey welcomed an open and transparent inquiry into the impacts, but said the scare-mongering tactics

aimed at escalating conflict between farmers was unhelpful and should not be tolerated.

Topics:  crops genetically modified