City of Onkaparinga set to apply for non-GM crop area designation

Published on 16 September 2020

The City of Onkaparinga will apply to the Minister for Primary Industries for its entire area – including the famed McLaren Vale wine region – to be designated a non-GM crop area following a landmark Council decision last night.

Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson said the decision came after a rigorous process, paving the way to protecting organic and biodynamic vineyards from a potential annual loss of $20.8 million.

“We listened carefully to our industry and community, and believe the evidence clearly shows it’s in our city’s best interest to make this application,” Mayor Thompson said.

“Industry knows its business best, and the McLaren Vale wine industry has told us they want the region to be GM free. Marketing is about many things, including perception. Why change how this region is perceived, and put valuable export markets at risk in the process?”

“Being designated a non-GM crop area would mean our region could keep doing what it does best – producing world-renowned wine that comes with a clean, green and sustainable reputation, and bringing in millions of export dollars to the state.”

This debate was the culmination of a process triggered by state government legislation that lifted the moratorium (ban) on the growing of GM crops in South Australia.

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