Home > Bayer Applies for New GM Cotton Release – LibertyLink – as Useful Part of Crop Protection Programme

Bayer Applies for New GM Cotton Release – LibertyLink – as Useful Part of Crop Protection Programme

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Bayer CropScience has applied to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) for the commercial release of a new herbicide tolerant cotton called LibertyLink.

LibertyLink cotton (referred to as LLCotton25) has been genetically modified to be tolerant to a broad spectrum herbicide, glufosinate-ammonium, allowing for effective weed control in cotton and useful as part of crop protection programmes. The OGTR regulates human health and environmental safety of gene technology products in Australia and has called for stakeholder comment on the LibertyLink application.

"The herbicide has a new mode of action not currently used in broadacre agriculture", Ben Jowett, Cotton Business Manager at Bayer CropScience explained.

"LibertyLink cotton will offer cotton growers more flexible weed management options. It will allow growers to optimise cotton production using a new herbicide that will aid in managing weed resistance without damaging their crop. The environmental attributes of this herbicide are an added and important bonus", Mr Jowett said.

He explained that the herbicide is non-residual and has a favourable safety profile for users and the environment. "LibertyLink cotton also offers full crop tolerance allowing a broad treatment window for growers."

LibertyLink cotton was successfully commercialised in the United States in 2004. LibertyLink cotton, suitable for Australian conditions has been under development with CSIRO since the late 90s.

Mr Jowett added "Australian cotton growers are very familiar with gene technology products, their responsible use and best practice management, and the contribution this technology offers to the sustainability of the cotton industry. Bayer CropScience is excited to be able to expand the technology and services to cotton growers to include LibertyLink cotton as a new option for effective weed control."

The OGTR has released details of the application for stakeholder comment. When approved there will be a phased introduction over the following 3 years. The licence application includes request for approval to grow in all traditional cotton growing areas as well as some areas where cotton has not been grown for a number of years, for example, in Southern NSW and surrounding shires.

Regulatory approvals for the herbicide and food safety will be obtained before the commercial launch.

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