Crop Biotech Update

Australian OGTR Releases Notifications of License Application for 2 GM Crops; Invites Comments on Commercial Release of GM Safflower

March 21, 2018

Australia's Office of the Gene Technology Regulator has received applications for limited and controlled release of bread wheat and durum wheat genetically modified (GM) for enhanced rust disease resistance (DIR 162) and limited and controlled release of GM canola with altered oil content and herbicide resistance (DIR 163).

Application DIR 162 from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) proposes that the field trial for bread wheat and durum wheat be conducted at two sites, Ginninderra and Boorowa. The proposed limited and controlled release will take place on an area of up to 40 m2 per year, over a maximum of five growing seasons from September 2018 to September 2023. The Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) for the application will be released for public comment on May 2018.

Application DIR 163 from Nuseed Pty. Ltd. seeks to gather research and regulatory data, information, and samples under field conditions for agronomic performance, oil profile and content, nutritional assessment, compositional analysis, molecular analysis, genetic stability, and safety assessment of GM canola. The RARMP for the application will be released for public comment on June 2018.

The OGTR is inviting comments for the commercial release of safflower modified for high oleic acid composition. DIR 158 seeks for GM safflower to be released Australia-wide, and the Regulator has prepared a RARMP for this application, which concludes that the proposed release poses negligible risks to human health and safety and the environment. The Regulator invites submissions on the RARMP until May 15, 2108.

For more details about DIR 162, DIR 163, and DIR 158, visit the OGTR website.