Crop Biotech Update

Invitation to Comment on GM Wheat and Barley Environmental Release by OGTR

April 8, 2010

The Australian Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) invites comments on the application of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) for a limited and controlled release to undertake research with 11 lines of wheat and 3 lines of barley that have been genetically modified (GM) for altered grain composition or enhanced nutrient utilization efficiency. The trial will be conducted to characterize growth and yield characteristics of the GM plants when grown under field conditions. Sufficient grains will be generated by the CSIRO to assess changes in grain composition as they affect dough characteristics and end-product quality.

The trial is proposed to take place in the local government areas of Narrabri (New South Wales) and Corrigin (Western Australia), on a maximum area of 2 ha per season, between May 2010 and June 2013. The GM wheat and barley would not be used for human food nor for animal feed. The Regulator welcomes written submission in order to finalize the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plant (RARMP), which concludes that the proposed release would pose negligible risk to human health and safety or to the environment. Submissions should be received by close of business on 13 May 2010.

For details, see the announcement at http://www.ogtr.gov.au/internet/ogtr/publishing.nsf/Content/dir099-3/$FILE/dir099notificon.pdf.