Biotech Updates

Australian OGTR Invites Comments on GM Canola Field Trial

September 19, 2018

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) of Australia is currently assessing license application DIR 164 from Monsanto Australia Limited, for a field trial (limited and controlled release) of canola genetically modified (GM) for herbicide tolerance.

The trial sites are proposed to be selected in 140 possible local government areas in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia between January 2020 and January 2024. The proposal is to plant up to 15 sites with a maximum combined area of 30 hectares per year in 2020, increasing to 20 sites with a maximum combined area of 100 hectares in 2023. The GM canola grown in this field trial would not be used for commercial 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 October 22, 2018.

For more details, read the DIR 164 documents available at the OGTR website.