2 April 2007

Section 78 of the Gene Technology Act 2000 provides for the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator) to place genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which have been previously licensed, pose minimal risks to people or the environment, and are sufficiently safe to be used by anyone without the need for a licence, on the GMO Register.

On 28 November 2006, the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator) made a determination, in response to an application from Florigene Pty Ltd, to include dealings with four genetically modified (GM) carnation lines on the GMO Register. The determination is a disallowable Legislative Instrument and therefore must be tabled in Parliament for a period of 15 sitting days during which Parliament has an opportunity to ‘disallow’ the determination.

The Regulator decided that the determination would come into effect only after Parliament had an opportunity to scrutinise the determination. The 15 sitting day period has now elapsed without a notice of motion for disallowance. Accordingly, the specified dealings with four lines of GM carnations have been included on the GMO Register. This is the first entry on the GMO Register.

The dealings were previously licensed under DIR 030/2002 and involve the ongoing, commercial release of four GM carnation lines (Moonlite, Moonshade, Moonshadow and Moonvista) modified for violet, mauve or purple flower colour. The dealings include the propagation, growth, and distribution of both GM plants and cut flowers Australia wide. Commercial scale dealings with the GM carnation lines have been occurring in Australia since 1995 and over 4.5 million GM carnation flowers have been sold.

The Risk Assessment for Register 001/2004, documents relating to Licence DIR 030/2002, the revised ‘Biology and Ecology of Dianthus caryophyllus L’, and Questions and Answers about the determination can be obtained on-line from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator’s website or requested via the contacts details.