Crop Biotech Update

Australian OGTR Invites Comments for Field Trial of GM Buffalo Grass

January 31, 2018

The Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) invites comments from the public to assess license application DIR 156 from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in Victoria for field trial (limited and controlled release) of buffalo grass genetically modified for herbicide tolerance and dwarf growth habit. The field trial will assess the agronomic characteristics of the GM buffalo grass plants under field conditions.

The trial is proposed to take place between April 2018 and April 2019 in Bundoora (Victoria) on a maximum area of 200 m2. GM buffalo grass grown in this field trial would not be used as animal feed.

A consultation Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) has been prepared, and a range of draft license conditions would limit the size, locations and duration of the release, as well as restrict the spread and persistence of the GMOs and the introduced genetic material. The Regulator invites written submissions to finalize the RARMP which will then inform the decision on whether or not to issue the license. The consultation RARMP and related documents are available at the OGTR website. Submissions should be received by close of business on March 1, 2018.

For more details, read the DIR 156 documents available at the OGTR website.