Invitation to comment on the proposed commercial release of genetically modified banana plants
Application for cultivation of the GM banana plants.
The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has received a licence application (DIR 199) from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) banana plants. The GM banana plants have been modified for disease resistance and also contain an antibiotic marker gene that was used for the selection of plants during research.

Separate food approval process.
QUT has also applied to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for the fruit and other products of this GM banana to be permitted for sale as food. FSANZ is currently undertaking a public consultation on their safety assessment, including labelling requirements. The FSANZ website has more information on this food application, A1274.
Steps in the decision-making process for cultivation of the GM banana plants:

Steps 1 and 2 have been completed: Initially, the Regulator sought advice on this application from experts, agencies and authorities, and local councils. Subsequently, this advice was considered in the preparation of the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) for the application.

Step 3. The public consultation on the RARMP is currently open and will close on 6 November 2023.
You can access the RARMP and associated documents on our DIR-199 webpage. We are seeking your written comments on issues relating to the protection of human health and safety and the environment. If you have any questions or would like to receive a copy of the full application or a hard copy of the RARMP, please contact us and quote the reference number DIR-199. For contact details, see below.

Note that experts, agencies and authorities have also been asked for further advice.

Step 4. The RARMP will be finalised, taking into consideration the comments received in Step 3.

Step 5. The Regulator must decide whether or not to issue a licence by the legislative due date. The licence decision will be publicly notified, and the GMO Record updated, including our website. If you have subscribed to receive our updates, we will automatically send you a notification once a licence decision was made.

Office of the Gene Technology Regulator MDP 54 GPO Box 9848 CANBERRA ACT 2601 Telephone: 1800 181 030 E-mail:
OGTR website
Dr Raj Bhula
Gene Technology Regulator 25 September 2023