Biotech Updates

Australia's GM Regulator Approves Field Trial of GM Wheat and Barley

April 17, 2024

Australia's Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has issued license DIR 201 to The University of Adelaide, allowing the field trial of wheat and barley genetically modified (GM) for yield enhancement. The field trial will be conducted on one site in Light Regional Council in South Australia, with a maximum planting area of 2 hectares each year. The trial will run from May 2024 to January 2029.

The purpose of the field trial is to assess the performance of GM wheat and barley under field conditions in Australia. The GM wheat and barley grown in this field trial are not allowed in human food or animal feed.

The final Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) concludes that this limited and controlled release poses negligible risks to people or the environment. However, as this is a field trial under limited and controlled conditions, license conditions have been imposed to restrict when and where the trial can take place, limit the size of the trial, and restrict the GM wheat and barley from spreading outside the trial sites.

The finalized RARMP, together with a summary of the RARMP, a set of Questions and Answers on this decision, and a copy of the license, are available online from the DIR 201 page on the OGTR website.

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