The Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA) has launched the second edition of The Official Australian Reference Guide to Agricultural Biotechnology and GM Crops during the 15th annual Science Meets Parliament event in Canberra.
The launch of the Guide was a focus of the Council’s first bi-annual meeting this year held at Parliament House in Canberra today. The meeting was opened by the Hon. Michael McCormack MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and National's Member for Riverina, and it was addressed by the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP.
The updated booklet provides factual information about GM crops based on scientific evidence. Topics covered include the science, performance, safety and regulation of GM crops as well as products in the pipeline and the commercial and market realities. The guide also gives a voice to farmers actually using GM crops and answers some common questions regarding stockfeed, the organisations involved in GM crop research, and food safety.
With a rapidly growing world population, a changing climate and growing pressure on natural resources such as water and arable land, agricultural biotechnology is increasingly seen as an important part of the solution to some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Over the past 19 years over 450 billion acres of biotech crops have been planted across 20 developing and eight industrialised countries representing more than 60 percent of the world’s population. This 100-fold increase makes biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent times.
Despite the widespread adoption by farmers, the technology continues to stimulate considerable community debate. Through the Guide, ABCA aims to inform the debate by providing factual information that is supported by a scientific panel of independent experts.
Importantly, the Guide also presents information on coexistence in farming and the on-farm management practices and systems currently in place that maintain the integrity of both GM and non-GM crops. The long track record of farmers using different agricultural production methods alongside each other both here and overseas reaffirm that all agricultural production methods can and should work to coexist to deliver the best of Australian agriculture.
Credible, balanced information on agricultural biotechnology such as The Official Australian Reference Guide to Agricultural Biotechnology and GM Crops will help to encourage informed debate and evidence-based decision-making. Download a copy of the guide here.