Biotech Updates

Demand for Australia's GM Safflower on the Rise

June 15, 2022

A significant increase in demand for Australia's genetically modified (GM) high oleic acid safflower oil has been reported by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia as market preferences and access to resources shift globally this season.

GM safflower oil is approved for use in industrial products such as lubricants and transformer oils, offering an alternative to palm and crude oils. The increasing global demand for palm oil substitutes combined with the war in Ukraine has left a gap in the market for specialist oils as Ukraine is one of the world's largest global producers of high oleic sunflower oil. Super high oleic safflower oil was developed as part of the Crop Biofactories Initiative between CSIRO and GRDC to help Australian growers access the emerging global market for oilseed crops with industrial applications. The high oleic safflower technology was then licensed to Melbourne-based GO Resources.

GO Resources has been producing GM safflower with 'super high' levels of oleic acid, ranging from 92 to 95 percent since it was approved for commercial release in 2019. About 12,000 hectares of GM safflower are grown across Australia, with Western Australia as the latest state to start producing the crop.

For more details, read the industry insights from GRDC Groundcover.

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