2018 Review of Tasmania's GMO Moratorium

​​​Successive Tasmanian governments have, since 2001, maintained a moratorium on the commercial release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) into the Tasmanian environment.

The Genetically Modified Organisms Control Act 2004 (‘GMO Control Act’) provides the current basis for the moratorium and regulates dealings with GMOs for marketing purposes.  The GMO Control Act and moratorium are currently scheduled to expire on 16 November 2019.

Terms of Reference

​The Tasmanian Government has requested the Department to conduct a review of the moratorium prior to its expiry. The Department has commenced the Review, which is being undertaken with the following Terms of Reference:

  Terms of Reference 2018 GMO Moratorium Review   (66Kb)​

The Review will only consider Tasmania’s moratorium and not broader aspects of gene technology policy.  


A Position Paper will be released in early 2019 for consultation with the Tasmanian community. The Government especially wants to hear the views of producers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers and exporters on the benefits and costs of the moratorium.  For example:
  • What products do you sell into domestic or international markets as ‘GMO-free’ or utilising Tasmania’s GMO-free brand attribute? 
  • What market opportunities have you gained or lost as a result of Tasmania’s GMO moratorium? 
  • If Tasmania’s GMO moratorium was to lapse, what would be the impact on your business? 
  • If non-food GM crops were grown commercially in Tasmania, would this impact on your business? 
  • Can you provide evidence of the financial benefits or costs to your business as a result of the current moratorium?​

Further Inf​ormation

For enquiries concerning the Review, please contact AgriGrowth Tasmania using the dedicated Review email address: GMOMoratoriumReview@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

This webpage will be updated during the Review.  If you would like to receive periodic updates on the Review, please register your interest with us.​

Previous Re​view​

The last comprehensive public review of the moratorium was undertaken in 2013.  The Final Report of the 2013 Review is available for download:
Correction: please note that on page 38 of the Final Report the estimation of cleaned seed production in Tasmania should read "estimated cleaned cereal and pasture seed (to be used as seed) is around 4000 tonnes for ryegrass, clover, fescue, cereals and other grains combined."

​Following the 2014 State election, the Tasmanian Government published the Tasmanian Gene Technology Policy (2014-2019) and the Tasmanian Gene Technology Guidelines.  The Policy supported extending the moratorium until 16 November 2019, which was legislated by Parliament through an amendment to the GMO Control Act.

The Policy commits the Government to reviewing the Policy before November 2019 to enable technological advances and likely impacts on markets to be understood before a decision on whether to further extend or amend the moratorium is made.  Since 2015, AgriGrowth Tasmania has also published three GMO Annual Environmental Scans​​ reporting on:​
  • the development of new generation GMOs that provide health or other benefits;
  • consumer sentiment in important current and potential future markets; and
  • new gene technologies that provide clear benefits to primary industry sectors and Tasmania as a whole.
The Environmental Scans did not identify any significant developments in these three specific matters that warranted triggering an early review of the Policy.

Australia's Gene Technology Sche​me

Australia's Gene Technology Scheme, which focuses on focuses on the regulation of GMOs and managing any risks they pose as a result of gene technology, was the subject of two recent national reviews.  Details of these national reviews are available as follows:

Third Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme

Technical Review of the Gene Technology Regulations 2001​


AgriGrowth Tasmania
Phone: 03 6165 3225
Email: GMOMoratoriumReview@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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