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Greens Welcome 'Timely' Organics Report

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP today welcomed the Government's response to the select committee inquiry into organics, saying he was pleased that 'all of the committee's recommendations will be addressed by new and ongoing initiatives'.

Mr Ewen-Street, who initiated the inquiry in the Primary Production Select Committee, said he was pleased the Government had acknowledged that the organic sector 'is an emerging industry with considerable potential for further development'.

In its conclusion the report notes that: 'Because many in the sector believe that organics is incompatible with genetic modification technology... there may be a need to examine the relationships between this sector and these sectors seeking to use this technology, in light of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification.'

"Sales of organic produce are set to grow from $5 million in 1996 to half a billion dollars in 2006 - or a 10,000 per cent increase in just 10 years.

"I am pleased that the response to this report has recognised the huge potential of the organics sector, especially the day after the Royal Commission report which has the organics sector very worried indeed," said Mr Ewen-Street.

Mr Ewen-Street said the $100,000 that the Greens secured in the last budget would continue to be used in the creation of national minimum standards set at very high international standards, and noted that these standards would not permit any contamination from genetically engineered material.

"It is perfectly clear when you look at what decent organic standards actually say that genetic engineering is a huge threat to organic agriculture and that, contrary to the Royal Commission's views, the two systems cannot co-exist," he said.

Ends


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