Disclosure of Criteria For Successful Application in Australia
Benjamin Loffler made this Freedom of Information request to Gene Technology Regulator
Dear Gene Technology Regulator,
Can you please supply a copy of the following document:
1. An up to date (as of the time of receipt of the FOI Request) copy of the full criteria a Genetically Modified Crop must meet in order to be used in Australia. This includes Any state specific criteria along side federally required criteria.
Please provide in any text form such as PDF or DOCX.
Dear Mr Loffler
Thank you for your query about genetically modified (GM) crops and the
criteria for use in Australia.
As the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator) conducts case-by-case
assessments of GM plants to be grown in the Australian environment, there
is not one specific document that outlines the full criteria a GM crop
must meet in order to be used in Australia. However, the Regulator
publishes a great deal of information about each GM plant approval on the
OGTR website and therefore I can provide some information and links to
relevant pages on our website that may address your request.
All activities with a genetically modified organism (GMO) need to be
authorised. The type of authorisation required is dependent on what the
GMO is and the activities proposed to be conducted. In the case of a GM
plant intended to be grown in a field, a licence for Dealings involving an
Intentional Release (DIR) of a GMO is required. An applicant will apply to
the Regulator using one of the application forms. The Regulator
conducts a case-by-case assessment of the GM plant and proposed activities
and, if she decides that any risks to the health and safety of people and
the environment are able to be managed, she will issue a DIR licence. DIR
licences contain many conditions, including those related to the scope of
dealings, geographical location, control measures to restrict spread and
persistence of the GMOs, waste disposal, transport, inspections and
record-keeping. Each licence is specific to a DIR application, and
approves a specific GMO(s) and activities with the GMO(s). The Regulator
publishes a number of documents related to each DIR application on
OGTR’s website, including the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan
(RARMP) and the licence. Currently, there are 191 DIRs listed on the
website. You are able to filter this list to agricultural applications to
find all the GM plant applications. Therefore, if you wish to know the
criteria that must be met when working with a specific GMO (which includes
GM plants), you can view the relevant DIR licence on the website by
clicking on a DIR number and navigating to the licence document.
I note that you are also interested in state specific criteria. The
Regulator administers a nationally consistent legislative scheme
consisting of the Commonwealth Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act), the
Commonwealth Gene Technology Regulations 2001 (the Regulations), and
corresponding state and territory legislation. Therefore, any DIR licence
issued by the Regulator is applicable at both a federal and state level.
The aim of the scheme is to protect the health and safety of people, and
the environment. However, states and territories may have additional
requirements/criteria outside of what is regulated under the gene
technology scheme, such as those that related to trade and marketing
issues, and therefore you would need to contact individual states and
territories for this information.
Once you have had an opportunity to look at the information I have
provided, please let me know if it has addressed your request. If I do not
hear from you by next Wednesday (25 May), I will take it that you are
satisfied with the information I have provided and do not wish to proceed
with a FOI request. If you still require further information, could you
please contact me so that I can clarify what additional information you
Dr Kylie Tattersall
A/g Assistant Secretary, Evaluation Branch
The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
Australian Government Department of Health
T: 02 6289 1435 | E: [email address]
Location: Scarborough House, Level 11
GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of
Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We
pay our respects to all Elders past and present.