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5. Co-responsibility

SCIMAC accepts that GM growers must bear the initial responsibility for delivering co-existence measures in line with the statutory 0.9% labelling threshold. They are not, however, operating in a vacuum. Since farming takes place in the open air, effective co-existence will involve a reasonable degree of co-operation between neighbouring growers.

In the vast majority of cases, SCIMAC would expect GM crop co-existence to reflect current, well-established practices of neighbour to neighbour communication and mutual co-operation between farmers who share a vested interest in delivering products to meet their customers’ requirements.

SCIMAC also accepts, however, that a degree of legal certainty is required to address circumstances in which – for whatever reason – neighbouring farmers do not readily communicate or co-operate.

SCIMAC therefore supports the proposal for separation distances and notification arrangements to be placed on a statutory footing, on condition that:

  • the measures and requirements involved are science-based, practicable and fair for all parties;
  • provision exists for neighbouring growers to reach agreement on alternative arrangements.

Support for separation distances and notification arrangements to be placed on a statutory basis is the fifth component of SCIMAC’s six-point plan on co-existence.

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