Genetically modified (GM) crops

The cultivation of GM food crops is prohibited in South Australia, under the Genetically Modified Crops Management Regulations 2008, which were made under the Genetically Modified Crops Management Act 2004. These regulations will expire on 1 September 2025.

Genetically modified (GM) food crops are crops which have been derived or developed from organisms that have had changes made to their DNA using genetic engineering. These changes can introduce traits such as:

  • resistance to disease
  • tolerance to herbicides
  • better nutrient profiles.

The South Australian Government’s moratorium on the cultivation of GM food crops reflects ongoing concerns in the community about the potential impacts of GM food crops on the integrity of the state’s conventional food production systems.

In addition, the government believes GM food crops could have a negative impact on the marketing of the state’s premium food and wine in export markets around the world.


The Genetically Modified Crops Management Act 2004 enables the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development to issue exemption notices for the limited-scale cultivation of GM food crops including experimental purposes, providing certain requirements are satisfied, including thorough containment of the GM crops to ensure that conventional food production systems are unaffected.

Exemptions granted since 2004 are listed in the:

GM crop trial sites in Australia


Genetically Modified (GM) Crop Advisory Committee

The Genetically Modified (GM) Crop Advisory Committee provides advice to the Minister on the issues and risks of genetically modified crops to markets and trade.


Plant Health, Biosecurity SA
Phone: (08) 8207 7820

GM Crop Advisory Committee

Secretariat, Agriculture, Food and Wine
Phone: (08) 8429 0663

Related information

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 1.5.2

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Jul 2016
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