Australia green lights Bayer’s herbicide-tolerant GM cotton, finding no risk to human health or the environment

Credit: Nation Media Group
Credit: Nation Media Group

Australia’s Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has issued a license in response to application DIR 173 from Monsanto Australia Pty Ltd., authorizing the commercial release of cotton genetically modified for herbicide tolerance (MON 88701). The release is authorized to take place throughout Australia. The GM cotton and products derived from GM cotton may enter general commerce, including use in human food and animal feed. Food Standards Australia New Zealand has approved the use in food of material derived from this GM cotton.

The decision to issue the license was made after consultation on the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) with the public, State and Territory governments, Australian Government agencies, the Minister for the Environment, the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee and local councils, as required by the Gene Technology Act 2000 and the corresponding State and Territory legislation.

Related article:  Giving GM crops fair shot: Cultural cognition theory opens consumer minds
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The Regulator considered all submissions provided during the consultation process related to the health and safety of people or the protection of the environment. The finalized RARMP concludes that this commercial release poses negligible risks to people and the environment and does not require specific risk treatment measures.

The final RARMP, as well as its summary, a set of Questions and Answers on this decision, and a copy of the license, are available online from the DIR 173 page of the OGTR website.

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