In cold storage

Published: Sunday 31 August 2003

-- (Credit: GE Free Victoria)A three-year moratorium has been put on the use of genetically modified organisms (gmos) in the state of Victoria in Australia. The need for comprehensive inquiry and public debate on the contentious issue has spawned the decision, taken by the Municipal Association of Victoria (mav) -- an organisation representing 78 local councils of the Australian state.

Hailing the move as a reflection of community sentiment, Gill Rosier, the convener of the Genetic Engineering (ge) Free Victoria movement, asserted: "The verdict is unanimous. Australia needs time to assess the gm industry. Most of our grain-growing states are introducing five-year moratoriums."

Rosier stated that a community inquiry on the biotechnology industry was in consonance with the government's assurance of "full consultation, communication, transparency and accountability". She felt that the policy review should "answer the community's needs" and "all stakeholder groups (are) resourced to enable full participation".

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