On Jan. 9, 2014, the Tasmanian government announced that it would be maintaining the moratorium on the commercial release of GMOs to the Tasmanian environment indefinitely.

In late 2013, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) sought public submissions and undertook a review of the moratorium on GMOs in Tasmania. The review attracted 160 public submissions.

The moratorium will continue to include exemptions for non-commercial scientific trials of GM crops and a panel of scientists will report to the Government yearly on advances in the field.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association says the government’s statement on the state’s GMO moratorium is “at best confusing and at worst potentially disastrous for future investment and jobs growth in the state.”

CropLife Australia says the decision “bodes poorly for both the profitability and sustainability of Tasmanian agriculture.”

The Minister’s Position Statement on Gene Technology and Tasmanian Primary Industries can be found here.