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Crop Biotech Update

Australian OGTR Receives Application for Commercial Release of GM Safflower

October 18, 2017

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has received a license application under the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act) for Dealings involving the Intentional Release (DIR) of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the Australian environment. The application (DIR 158) from GO Resources Pty Ltd proposes the commercial release of two lines of genetically modified (GM) safflower. The GM safflower has been modified to lower the expression of two fatty acid biosynthesis genes to produce more oleic acid in the seed, and also contains a marker gene that was used for the selection of plants during the early stages of research.

DIR 158 aims to introduce the GM safflower into the Australian cropping system. If a license is issued, the GM safflower and its derived products would enter general commerce, with the oil derived from the GM safflower intended for commercial industrial oil production. Products derived from the GM safflower are not intended for use in human food.

The Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan for the application will be released for public comment in March 2018.

For more information, including the notice of application, questions and answers, and summary of the license application, visit the DIR 158 page on the OGTR website.