Bayer seeks to test GM cotton in Australia
Bayer CropScience has applied to the Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) to conduct field trials of genetically modified insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant cotton. The traits are undisclosed but the insect resistance genes are derived from Bt and the herbicide tolerance genes are from common bacterial and plant species. Bayer plans to test the cotton at up to 14 sites in the first year on a maximum of 10 ha per site and on up to 20 sites for five years on a maximum of 30 ha per site. The tests would be conducted between July 2015 and July 2021 in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. The OGTR plans to issue a risk assessment and management plan in February 2015.