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2-Plants: Australian GE authority invites submissions on GEgrapevines

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-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  OGTR invites submissions on GM grapevines
SOURCE: Life Science Network, Australia
DATE:   May 2, 2003

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OGTR invites submissions on GM grapevines

Australia's Gene Technology Regulator has issued an invitation for public
comment on the risk assessment and risk management plan for limited and
controlled release of GM grapevines in to the environment.

The regulator has received an application (DIR 031/2002) from CSIRO Plant
Industry for a licence for the limited and controlled release of 11 types
of GM grapevine. Up to 490 plants would be released on a single site in
the Mildura Rural City Council area in Victoria.

The purpose of the trials is to evaluate the performance of grapevines
containing additional copies of grapevine genes, modified to improve
colour, flavour, sugar composition, flowering and fruit quality. Pollen
flow of GM grapevines containing green fluorescent protein will also be
studied. CSIRO proposes to bag grapevine flowers to contain the pollen.

All grapevines were approved for trial under the former voluntary system
overseen by the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee, and licences
issued under the transitional arrangements of the Gene Technology Act
2000. These licences will expire in June 2003.

There have been no reports of adverse effects on human health and safety
or the environment resulting from these previous releases and approval of
this application will enable trials to be continued.

In accordance with the Gene Technology Act 2000 and in consultation with
expert groups, the Gene Technology Regulator has prepared a risk
assessment and risk management plan for this application. Copies of the
plan and summary information are available at .
Please quote application number DIR 031/2002.

Written submissions from the public and interested organisations on
matters relating to the protection of human health and safety and the
environment should be forwarded to the Office of the Gene Technology
Regulator by 11 June 2003.

Note that food labelling, marketability and trade do not fall within the
scope of evaluations of the Gene Technology Act as they are the
responsibility of other agencies and authorities.