Specialty grocery store Tucker’s Natural, Maggie Beer, BD Paris Creek Farms, San Remo and Johnny’s Popcorn are among the food manufacturers and retailers supporting the moratorium ensuring the ban of GM crops in South Australia.
“GMO’s rank within the top five food concerns globally. GMO concern is even surpassing ingredient concerns such as sugar, sodium, hydrogenated oils and artificial ingredients,” said Sam Tucker, owner of Tucker’s Natural.
“This is a moment in time when as an industry we have the opportunity of guiding and protecting our State’s future against the greed and power of three very large international chemical companies that have an undesirable hold on seed markets globally. The push in South Australia for GM Canola is not about improved benefits to farmers but about corporate profits.”
Tucker said that starting with GM Canola will pave the way to other GM Federal approved crops such as fruits and vegetables.
He said the cropping report for June 2018-2019 for SA has seen a 14 per cent drop in canola planting below the 10-year average. This shows an increase in planting barley and pulses, which are much more profitable crops, at the expense of canola.
“Is [Steven] Marshall appraised of the true facts? Why fight for GM Canola when there are more profitable alternatives for farmers which reflect the global consumer trend,” he added.
Australian exporters supply international customers who are looking for greater differentiation and require non-GMO, organic or a specific region.
“One country Japan relies heavily on Australia’s agricultural commodities and imports around A$697 million in grains, oilseeds and pules from Australia each year (ABARES). According to Austrade, there are market opportunities in ‘Non-GMO grain products for both human consumption and as feedstock’,” Tucker said.
All Tucker’s Natural products are certified non-GM. Tucker said that in the US, the specialty food market requires Non-GM or Organic certification to be included in the segment.
Tucker said that if the GM gate will be opened, “it can never be shut again”.
“Ultimately, the politicians are the ones that will vote and decide on this issue with or without our say. We remain hopeful that fellow producers/manufacturers will voice support loudly for the moratorium on GM crops to remain in place. This will secure our global competitive advantage and ensure South Australia remains Clean and Green.”