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Australia approves GM banana tests

The Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has approved an application from the Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane) to conduct small-scale tests of genetically modified disease-resistant bananas. The University plans to test up to 17 GM banana lines on a 1.4 ha site between July 2008 and April 2010. Up to 16 lines would contain a gene from a nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, to confer disease and stress tolerance. The OGTR had previously concluded that the proposed tests posed negligible risks ( Agrow No 543, p 15).

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