Jul. 15, 2013
The Regulator has issued a licence in respect of application DIR 120, authorising the limited and controlled release (field trial) of cottons that have been genetically modified (GM) for insect resistance and herbicide tolerance.
The trial is authorised to take place between October 2013 and October 2019 on up to 10 sites of 10 hectares (ha) for the first two years and up to 20 sites of 30 ha in subsequent years. Sites are to be selected from 56 possible local government areas (LGAs) in Western Australia, NSW and Queensland. The primary purpose of the field trial is to assess the agronomic performance of the GM cottons under Australian field conditions. The GM cottons will not be used for human food or animal feed.
The decision to issue the licence was made after extensive consultation on the RARMP with the public, State and Territory governments, Australian Government agencies, the Minister for the Environment, the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee, and relevant local councils, as required by the Gene Technology Act 2000 and the corresponding State and Territory legislation.
Issues relating to the health and safety of people and the protection of the environment raised during the consultation process were considered in the context of current scientific information in reaching the conclusions set out in the finalised RARMP and in making the decision to issue the licence.
The finalised RARMP concludes that this limited and controlled release poses negligible risks to people and the environment. Licence conditions have been imposed to restrict spread and persistence of the GMOs and their genetic material in the environment and to limit the release in size, location and duration, as these were important considerations in the evaluation process.
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