The state of Tasmania has put in place Australia’s most stringent restrictions on plantings of genetically modified food crops.

Commercial plantings of genetically modified organisms have been banned for another five years, extending a moratorium which was due to end in June this year, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Primary industry minister Brian Green described the government’s policy as “cautious but balanced” and stressed that it was seeking to give the state a marketing advantage by keeping GMs firmly under control:

“What we’ve always said is that our opportunity to market in Tasmania, or market Tasmania’s produce has centred around clean and green, and our ability is further enhanced by having a moratorium in place,” he said.

Under the terms of the new moratorium, open-air trials of GM non-food crops, such as poppies, will be permitted.