Australia has completed its move toward modern approaches to agriculture. South Australian has lifted its ban on modern genetic engineering (older mutagenesis engineered foods were still allowed) and councils can continue to adhere to the organic industry manufacturing process but it will no longer be illegal to use modern approaches to farming there.
Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone announced the change and noted the Government made multiple attempts to lift the ban without engaging in the kind of mandate South Australia was using against farmers. He said they had compromised in good faith with progressive opponents but what really tipped the scales was an independent review that estimated South Australia has lost $33 million loss in canola crops alone since 2004.
Will there be patchwork areas of GMOs and organic food? Almost certainly. Kangaroo Island will maintain the ban because it has lucrative organic industry contracts overseas and many farms in the U.S. and Europe grow both conventional and organic foods without issue. Now all Australian farmers except in one area have choices. That is a win for farmers and consumers.