Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Climate change prompts GM debate

By Tim Jeanes, Thursday April 4, 2013 - 14:57 EDT

South Australia's peak grain body says warnings of more droughts in key food growing regions reinforce the need to end a ban on genetically modified crops.

According to analysis by the nation's Climate Commission, climate change has already had an irreversible effect on weather patterns across Australia.

The Commission says parts of the country's south-east and south-west have become drier with droughts to occur more often.

Grain Producers SA says farmers will be hamstrung if they cannot adapt to changing conditions.

Chairman Gary Hanson says genetic technology could offer more drought-tolerant crops and the moratorium should end.

"I think we should be able to use all the biotechnology tools and other tools available to us to meet the challenge of this prediction of lower rainfall and therefore droughts," he said.

"GM crops are one of those tools. Other farmers in Australia have got access to but we here in South Australia don't have access to.

"We are falling behind in being able to do the research and the on-ground testing of GM technology to find what varieties work and what varieties don't work so we can prepare ourselves for lower rainfall."

Agriculture Minister Gail Gago says the state plays a major national role in primary industries climate adaptation research.

But she says the Government will not lift the GM ban without compelling reasons.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Severe weather warning issued as destructive cold front hits southern WA

23:06 EST

Heavy rain has soaked Perth and surrounds as the first strong cold front of the season batters the southern half of the state, with damaging winds of up to 125 kilometres per hour predicted overnight.

Tourists and feral animals flock to Lake Eyre as floodwaters end 1,000km journey

18:11 EST

Rain that fell ago in north west Queensland has finally hit South Australia's Lake Eyre, attracting tourists and feral animals not seen there in years.

Wild night in the west

16:47 EST

Perth's run of warm and dry weather will come to an abrupt end tonight when one of Western Australia's strongest cold front so far this year reaches the state's west coast.