Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale has partially broken with his party’s policy, saying that he does not believe genetically modified crops pose a significant risk to human health.
The Greens oppose the use of genetically modified crops, arguing they pose significant risks to agricultural ecosystems and human health.
But Senator Di Natale told the ABC that there is no concrete evidence on potential health harms to people.
“The literature so far, on the issue of human health, hasn’t produced evidence of widespread and significant health harms,” he said.
“The bigger concerns are around issues of intellectual property.”
Senator Di Natale is otherwise overwhelmingly in line with the Greens’ policy principles on genetically modified organisms, and his view on human health impacts does not alter policy objectives.
He said the real problem was not the technology but the way it was applied and, as a medical practitioner, he did not have a philosophical or ideological opposition to the technology itself.
“The concerns are less around human health and much more around the application of the technology when it comes to giving farmers choice, ensuring that farmers are able to produce a non-GM product if they choose, making sure we don’t use this technology simply to drive up the use of more herbicides and pesticides, which is not which is not good land management,” he said.
“I think that’s where this debate needs to head.”