Biotech Updates

Australian OGTR Invites Comments for Field Trial of GM Perennial Ryegrass

December 13, 2017

The Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) is currently assessing license application DIR 160 from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources in Victoria, for a field trial (limited and controlled release) of perennial ryegrass genetically modified (GM) for fructan biosynthesis.

The field trial will assess the agronomic characteristics of the GM perennial ryegrass plants under field conditions and to multiply seed for future trials. The field trial is proposed to be conducted between May 2018 and June 2020 in southwest Victoria on a maximum area of 160 m2 per year. The GM perennial ryegrass grown in this field trial would not be used in human food or animal feed.

The Gene Regulator has prepared the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) for the application which concludes that the proposed release would pose negligible risk to human health and safety or to the environment. The Regulator welcomes written submissions to finalize the RARMP, which will then inform the decision on whether or not to issue the license. Submissions should be received by close of business on January 18, 2018.

For more details, read the DIR 160 documents available at the OGTR website.