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Call for comment on food made from a new genetically modified canola

Date: 27/05/2022

​​Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on an application to allow food from a new genetically modified (GM) canola.

The application seeks approval to permit food derived from canola line LBFLFK which has been genetically modified to produce omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) and for tolerance to imidazolinone herbicides.

If approved, the canola could be imported into Australia and New Zealand as refined oil or as an ingredient within a food.

FSANZ CEO Dr Sandra Cuthbert said the oil could be used as an ingredient in food products to provide an alternative source of dietary omega-3 LC-PUFAs, which are not found in measurable levels in non-GM canola.   

“Our safety assessment found no potential public health and safety concerns with this GM canola. It is as safe as non-GM canola varieties."

Safety assessments are a key part of the approval process for all GM foods and consider the specific genetic modification process, potential unintended changes, the nutrient content compared to a non-GM food of its type and the potential allergenicity or toxicity of any new proteins.

To help people make informed choices, oil made from this canola would need to be labelled as 'genetically modified'.

The approval would not permit cultivation of the GM canola in Australia or New Zealand. This would require separate regulatory assessment and approval by the Gene Technology Regulator in Australia and the Environmental Protection Authority in New Zealand.

To have your say, see our call for comment page. Submissions close at 6pm (Canberra time) on 8 July 2022.

What happens with my feedback?

Submissions will be published to our website as soon as possible following the public comment period.

FSANZ will consider all feedback received through this submission process before making a decision on whether to approve the application.

FSANZ's decision will be notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree that the standard should become law.

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