The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has received a licence application (DIR 155) from Nuseed Pty Ltd (Nuseed) for commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) canola. A summary of the application and a Questions and Answers document is posted on OGTR website under ‘What’s New’.

Licence application DIR 155 is for commercial release of a GM canola line, DHA canola. The GM canola contains seven introduced genes for production of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, predominantly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in the seed oil. DHA canola also contains a selectable marker gene for glufosinate herbicide tolerance. Nuseed is seeking approval to commercially grow the GM canola in all canola growing areas of Australia. The GM canola and its products would enter general commerce, including use in human food and animal feed.

OGTR is preparing a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) for the application. The RARMP will be prepared taking into account advice received from a broad range of experts, agencies and authorities, and relevant local councils, as specified in the Gene Technology Act 2000. Dr Raj Bhula, Gene Technology Regulator, expects the consultation RARMP to be released for public comment and further advice from experts, agencies and authorities in October 2017. There will be at least 30 days allowed for submission of comments. If you have any questions or would like to receive a copy of the full application please contact the OGTR (quoting the reference number DIR 155).