Australia to study feasibility of GMO segregation

by Emily Wilson
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Australia will conduct a three-year study to examine the feasibility of segregating genetically modified products across the entire production chain. "The project’s aim is to determine whether it is feasible to segregate and preserve the identity of Australian agricultural products," said Federal Agriculture Minister Warren Truss. "Consumers worldwide are becoming more discerning about the food they buy and Australia’s agricultural and food enterprises will have to decide whether to supply genetically engineered or non-GE products or a combination of both to a range of markets here and overseas."

A preliminary study completed in May showed that biotechnology in agriculture would involve fundamental changes to supply chains. The keys to segregating supply chains were infrastructure, procedures, protocols and testing regimes, Truss said.

Truss said a recent national survey on behalf of Biotechnology Australia found a growing preparedness among Australians to accept GE foods. "What we need is a better understanding of the costs and benefits of segregating different types of agriculture to help ensure Australia’s primary producers and food enterprises can make informed decisions," he said.