Biotech Updates

West Australia and GM Technology

October 16, 2009

Interest in genetic modification (GM) technology is strong in Western Australia (W.A.). This was stimulated by the State Government's decision to allow limited trials of GM canola on about 1000 hectares in the WA's grainbelt in 2009 said Dr. Sue Sutherland, biotechnology manager of the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAF), during an information session on the use and approval process for genetically modified crops in Australia. The event was attended by over 150 representatives from local government, business and community organizations.

"This was an important opportunity to harness that interest and explain the GM approval processes used in Australia, which are among the most robust in the world," Sutherland added. Since 2001, a total of 77 licenses have been issued for GMOs intended for release, enabling field trials to be conducted. A total of 40 applications had been approved for GM soybeans, canola, rice, corn, potato, sugarbeet, lucerne and cotton.

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