Biotech Updates

Limited Release of GM Wheat Tolerant to Drought

April 18, 2008

Australia's Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has received an application from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries for the limited and controlled release of up to 50 wheat lines genetically modified (GM) for enhanced drought tolerance. The release is proposed to take place at two sites in the local government areas of Horsham and Mildura, Victoria, on a total area of up to 0.225 hectares between 2008 and 2010. The GM plants express one of the 15 genes isolated from Arabidopsis, maize, moss and yeast. They also contain the antibiotic marker gene bla and the herbicide tolerance gene bar. OGTR has prepared a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan which concludes that the release would not pose a significant risk to human health and safety or to the environment.

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