May 11, 2012
DIR 114 - Notice of decision of GM canola field trial
NOTIFICATION OF DECISION
Issue of licence DIR 114 to Pioneer Hi-Bred Australia Pty Ltd for a limited and controlled release of GM canola
On 27 February 2012, the Regulator invited submissions on the consultation version of the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) for licence application DIR 114 from Pioneer Hi-Bred Australia Pty Ltd (Pioneer).
The Gene Technology Regulator has now made a decision to issue a licence in respect of application DIR 114, authorising the limited and controlled release of one line of canola genetically modified for herbicide tolerance.
The release is authorised to take place between May 2012 and February 2016 on up to 8 sites in the first year and up to 20 sites in subsequent years, on a maximum of 4 hectares (ha) per site for each of the first two years and up to 10 ha per site in subsequent years. Sites are to be selected from 127 possible local government areas (LGAs) in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. The purpose of the trial is to evaluate the agronomic performance of the GMO under field conditions in both current and potential commercial canola growing areas of Australia. The GM canola will not be permitted to enter the human food or animal feed supply chains.
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 corresponding State and Territory laws.
Issues relating to the health and safety of people and the protection of the environment raised during the consultation process were weighed against the body 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.
Appendix A of the RARMP summarises the advice that was received from prescribed experts, agencies and authorities, and indicates how issues raised relating to risks to human health and safety or the environment were considered in the document. Four submissions were received from the public on the consultation RARMP and the issues raised, and their consideration, are summarised in Appendix B of the RARMP.
The Executive Summary, Technical Summary and complete finalised RARMP, together with a set of Questions and Answers on this decision and a copy of the licence, can be obtained on-line from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator’s website or requested via the contacts detailed below.
Office of the Gene Technology Regulator MDP 54 GPO Box 9848 CANBERRA ACT 2601 Telephone: 1800 181 030, Facsimile: 02 6271 4202 http://www.ogtr.gov.au
DIR 114 - Questions and Answers
DIR 114 - Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) Executive Summary
DIR 114 - Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) Technical Summary
DIR 114 - Full Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) for the limited and controlled release of canola genetically modified for herbicide tolerance
DIR 114 - Licence Application Summary
DIR 114 - GM canola licence conditions