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Australian state keeps GMO ban

The Australian state of Tasmania has extended its moratorium on the cultivation of genetically modified crops indefinitely. The move follows a review and public submissions on the moratorium, which has been in place since 2001. "There will be no end date specified for the moratorium to provide a positive incentive for Tasmania businesses to invest in marketing and brand development to maximise potential GMO-free opportunities," says state deputy premier Bryan Green. The government recognises that in future there may be a compelling case to consider the introduction of GMOs into Tasmania. "These triggers could include new GMOs that provide health or other benefits, increased consumer acceptance in important markets or technologies that provide positive benefits to particular primary industry sectors and Tasmania as a whole," Mr Green says. The industry association, CropLife Australia, describes the decision as "clearly political" and "deeply disappointing". Tasmania extended its moratorium to November 2014 in 2008 (Agrow No 557, p 17).

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