Biotech Updates

Australia Approves GM Cotton for Cultivation

November 27, 2009

Australia's Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has cleared Dow's genetically modified, WideStrike cotton for commercial release in the country. The cotton expresses the Cry1F and Cry1Ac genes for resistance to insect pests. The license issued by OGTR permits growing of the GM cotton in all current cotton growing areas in South Australia and the use of cotton seed in animal feed Australia-wide, including northern Australia where measures to limit the potential spread and persistence of the GMOs have been imposed.

The decision to issue the approval was made after extensive consultation on the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) with the public, State and Territory governments, government agencies and local councils, says the OGTR. The RARMP concludes that the commercial cultivation of WideStrike cotton "poses negligible risks to the health and safety of people, and negligible to low risks to the environment as a result of gene technology."

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