The Gene Technology Ethics Committee - 2001-2007

The Gene Technology Ethics Committee (GTEC) was established by the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act) in June 2001. From 1 January 2008 GTEC was replaced by the Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee (GTECCC), which was established as a result of the Gene Technology Amendment Act 2007.
Following the statutory review of the Act in 2005, it was found that there had been considerable overlap between the roles of GTEC and GTCCC. The Review recommended the two committees be combined into one advisory committee - GTECCC - with the combined functions of GTEC and GTCCC.

On 20 June 2007 the Gene Technology Amendment Act 2007 was passed in the Australian Parliament. It introduced amendments to the Act, including the establishment of GTECCC. GTEC's second triennium expired on 8 December 2007. GTECCC came into operation on 1 January 2008.

GTEC Communiques

Archived: Communiques of GTEC Meetings 2004 - 2007
Archived: Communiques of GTEC Meetings 2002 - 2004

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Background and establishment of GTEC

During consultations on the development of the Act, stakeholders expressed a range of views about the proposed ethics committee. They felt that:
  • the consideration of ethical issues must be quite separate from the Gene Technology Regulator's (the Regulator) consideration of scientific and technical issues;
  • a properly constituted ethics committee should provide expert advice direct to the Gene Technology Ministerial Council (GTMC) and should also develop ethical guidelines to underpin the new scheme;
  • the committee should develop ethical guidelines only after comprehensive community consultation (including consultation with the community committee), and those guidelines should then be observed by all people undertaking, or proposing to undertake, work with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified products (GM products); and
  • there should be cross-membership between all of the committees.
Therefore a separate ethics committee, GTEC, was established under the Act, and its function was to provide advice to the Regulator and GTMC on the following:
  • ethical issues relating to gene technology;
  • the need for, and content of, codes of practice in relation to ethics in respect of conducting dealings with GMOs; and
  • the need for, and content of, policy principles in relation to dealings with GMOs that should not be conducted for ethical reasons.
GTEC comprised 12 members with expertise in matters such as ethics and the environment, health ethics, applied ethics, law, religious practices, and animal health and welfare. The committee also had cross-membership with the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee, the Gene Technology Community Consultative Committee and the Australian Health Ethics Committee.

The Gene Technology Community Consultative Committee – 2001-2007

The Gene Technology Community Consultative Committee (GTCCC) was established by the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act) in June 2001. From 1 January 2008 GTCCC was replaced by the Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee (GTECCC), which was established as a result of the Gene Technology Amendment Act 2007.

Following the statutory review of the Act in 2005, it was found that there had been considerable overlap between the roles of GTEC and GTCCC. The Review recommended the two committees be combined into one advisory committee - GTECCC - with the combined functions of GTEC and GTCCC.

On 20 June 2007 the Gene Technology Amendment Act 2007 was passed in the Australian Parliament. It introduced amendments to the Act, including the establishment of GTECCC. GTCCC's second triennium expired on 30 June 2007. GTECCC came into operation on 1 January 2008.Top of page

GTCCC Communiques

Archived: Communiques of GTCCC Meetings 2004 - 2007
Archived: Communiques of GTCCC Meetings 2002 - 2004


Background and establishment of GTCCC

The GTCCC was established to look beyond science and advise on issues of concern to the community and ensure that these are addressed in the policy underpinning the regulatory scheme. Accordingly, the function of the GTCCC was to provide advice to the Regulator and the Gene Technology Ministerial Council (GTMC) on:
  • matters of general concern identified by the Regulator in relation to applications made under the Act;
  • matters of general concern in relation to genetically modified organisms (GMOs);
  • the need for policy principles, policy guidelines, codes of practice and technical and procedural guidelines in relation to GMOs and genetically modified products and the content of such principles, guidelines and codes.Top of page