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2-Plants: Australia seen growing first GM canola in 2003



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TITLE:  Australia seen growing first GM canola in 2003
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   Nov 12, 2002

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Australia seen growing first GM canola in 2003 

SYDNEY - Australia is still on track to produce its first commercial
genetically modified (GM) canola crop in 2003 despite a temporary freeze on two
applications, a spokesman for U.S. agrochemical group Monsanto Co said. The
Commonwealth Gene Technology Regulator said late on Friday that it had decided to
"stop the clock" on two applications for the commercial release of GM canola
until more information became available. Public consultation on the risk
assessment and risk management plans for applications from Monsanto and Germany's
Bayer AG, which earlier this year bought Aventis SA's crop science unit,
were originally scheduled for mid-November 2002. The consultation would now be
delayed until early next year, Gene Technology Regulator Sue Meek said. Final
decisions on whether licences would be issued for commercial production,
currently due in February/March 2003, would also be delayed. "They are likely to
have the approval completed by April, which is still OK for the planting
season," a spokesman for Monsanto told Reuters. It was still planned to go ahead
with Australia's first commercial GM canola crop in 2003, he said. Canola,
used to produce cooking and edible oils, would be Australia's second major
commercial GM crop after cotton, but its first major GM food crop. 




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