We need to lead world on GM crops: senator

Matt Coughlan
(Australian Associated Press)

A new WA Liberal senator has used his first speech to parliament to call for Australia to become a world leader in genetically modified crops.

Senator Brockman said politicians should ensure the fear campaign, which demonises GM crops as dangerous and unproven, was not allowed to overwhelm the possibilities offered by the technology.

“Genetically modified crops have been demonstrated to be safe for human consumption and good for the environment,” Senator Brockman told parliament on Tuesday.

“Australia can and should lead the world in this field. We have the expertise; we have the funding.”

Senator Brockman, who was former chief of staff to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Chris Back.

From a long line of farmers, Brockman wants new ways of driving private sector investment in rural and regional areas.

“We need the billions of dollars in Australian superannuation accounts to look beyond the cities and invest in rural and regional opportunities,” he said.

He said a percentage of research funding should be directed into reproducing scientific studies.

“If a study cannot be repeated, it cannot be trusted,” Senator Brockman said.

Before working for Senator Cormann, Senator Brockman was a policy director for the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA and a farm manager.


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