Biotech Updates

FSANZ Calls for Comments on Food Derived from GM Canola

June 1, 2022

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on an application from BASF Australia to allow the sale and use of food derived from a new genetically modified (GM) canola.

The canola line LBFLFK has been genetically modified to produce omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) and for tolerance to imidazolinone herbicides. If approved, LBFLFK canola could be imported into Australia and New Zealand as refined oil or as an ingredient within a food. These may include canola oil, meal, or protein isolate. Viable seeds from canola line LBFLFK would not be allowed without prior assessment and approval by the Gene Technology Regulator in Australia and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in New Zealand. Existing labeling requirements for GM food will apply to food derived from this canola line. To help people make informed choices, oil made from this canola would need to be labeled as genetically modified. The approval would not permit the cultivation of LBFLFK canola in Australia or New Zealand.

FSANZ CEO Dr. Sandra Cuthbert said, “Our safety assessment found no potential public health and safety concerns with this GM canola. It is as safe as non-GM canola varieties."

Safety assessments are a key part of the approval process for all GM foods and consider the specific genetic modification process, potential unintended changes, the nutrient content compared to a non-GM food of its type, and the potential allergenicity or toxicity of any new proteins.

For more details, read the announcement from FSANZ. For submissions, visit the call for comment page. Submissions close at 6 pm (Canberra time) on July 8, 2022.

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