Australian State Approves Biotech Canola Trial

West Australia will allow a limited commercial-size trial, which is endorsed by major farm groups.

It looks like the march of biotechnology continues with expanded use of biotech-enhanced crops in more parts of Australia. In West Australia, it was announced this week that a limited commercial-size trial of biotech canola will be approved. The trial, to involve about 20 farmers and approximately 2,200 acres of land broadens number of acres already approved for commercial trials in New South Wales and Victoria.

The decision follows a long review process with industry, the public, local government, and overseas experience, according to Western Australia ag officials. The announcement follows a decision by the same state to lift a ban on commercial biotech cotton production in the OrdRiver area after 10 years of limited trials found no agronomic problems, or environmental concerns.

Farm groups applaud the biotech crop moves noting that Australian farmers will be closer to "joining millions of farmers around the world who are taking advantage of the greatest advance in farming technology since the plow," says one ag official.

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