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Monsanto seeks approval for new GM canola crop

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Global GM giant Monsanto, has lodged an application with the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator for a licence to sell a new genetically modified canola crop in Australia.

The company hopes to sell its second generation Roundup-ready crop on the Australian market early next year.

Tony May, technology and development lead at Monsanto said that the new product, TruFlex, will enable farmers to apply herbicide over a longer period in the growing season.

"The current technology is Roundup-ready canola and it allows farmers to apply Roundup-ready herbicide over the top of canola but only early in the growing season," May told ABC News.

"What TruFlex is going to enable farmers to do is apply a glyphosate or Roundup-ready herbicide for a much longer period of time into the season."

Despite a lacklustre adoption rate of GM canola since Australia lifted its GM crop moratorium, May believes that uptake of the crops will increase.

"(Farmers) want to be able to see that they're getting the best yields they can because hybrids are more expensive to buy than some of the open pollinated systems," he said.

"The flip side to that is they have to manage weeds in the rotation of their cropping system and Roundup gives farmers the opportunity to control weeds that they might not have been able to control otherwise."

Both Tasmania and South Australia have continued to instil a moratorium on GM crops.

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator will complete a risk assessment plan for the new product, and the Office expects to call for public comment into the crop in July this year.

Image: www.australianscenics.com

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