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 are due to 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
  • higher tolerance to droughts or frosts.

Independent Review of the Moratorium of Genetically Modified Food Crops

An independent review of South Australia’s moratorium on the cultivation of Genetically Modified (GM) food crops is now underway.

The review aims to better understand different perspectives and the moratorium’s current and future economic impact.

Once completed, the review will enable better informed policy decisions regarding GM food crops in South Australia.

View more information about the review.


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:


Related information

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 1.5.2

FSANZ - General information about GM foods

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Jul 2016
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