The Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) is currently assessing licence application DIR 143 from Bayer CropScience Pty Ltd for a commercial release of two types of GM cotton: GlyTol® cotton and GlyTol TwinLink Plus® cotton. GlyTol® cotton has been genetically modified for tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate and GlyTol TwinLink Plus® cotton has been genetically modified for insect resistance as well as tolerance to both glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides.
Subject to any State government restrictions imposed for marketing reasons, the proposed commercial release of the GM cottons would be Australia-wide. Products from the GM cotton plants would be used in the same way as those from non-GM and other commercially approved GM cottons.
A consultation Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) has been prepared, which concludes that the proposed release would pose negligible risk to human health and safety or to the environment. Draft licence conditions are proposed to ensure there is ongoing oversight of the release.
The Regulator welcomes written submissions in order to finalise the RARMP, which will then inform the decision on whether or not to issue a licence. The consultation RARMP and related documents can be obtained from the OGTR website under ‘What’s New’ or by contacting the Office. Submissions should be received by close of business on 3 October 2016.