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Crop Biotech Update

Australia's OGTR Authorizes Field Trials of GM Banana

December 21, 2016

Australia's Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has issued a license to Queensland University of Technology, allowing the field trials of banana genetically modified (GM) for resistance to Fusarium wilt disease. The field trials (License Application DIR146) are allowed to take place at one site of up to 6 hectares in Litchfield Municipality, Northern Territory, for a period of 5 years. The purpose of the field trial is to evaluate the level of disease resistance and agronomic performance of the GM banana plants under Australian field conditions.

The final Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) concludes that this limited and controlled release poses negligible risks to people and the environment and does not require specific risk treatment measures.

The finalized RARMP, together with a summary of the RARMP, a set of Questions and Answers on this decision and a copy of the license, are available online from the DIR 146 page in the OGTR website.