FSANZ asks for feedback on GM lucerne application

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 14th October 2013

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has invite submissions on an application to change the Food Standards Code to allow food derived from genetically modified lucerne.

FSANZ said it had assessed the application from Monsanto Australia to allow food derived from lucerne genetically modified to have reduced levels of lignin.

In its application to FSANZ, Monsanto Australia said that as lucerne grows and forage biomass increases, the quality of conventional lucerne begins to decrease rapidly due to increased lignin levels in the stems of maturing plants. The Company said it has developed biotechonology-derived lucerne KK179 to provide “greater flexibility in harvesting forage without loss of quality”.

“Growers will be able to harvest this lucerne line later than conventional lucerne and thus benefit from improved yields of forage for their grazing animals,” said Steve McCutcheon, FSANZ Chief Executive Officer. “FSANZ’s safety assessment has identified no public health and safety concerns for consumers,” he said.

FSANZ said it welcomes submissions on the application from government agencies, public health professionals, industry and the community.

The closing date for submissions in 19 November 2013.

FSANZ seeking submissions on Monsanto GM lucerne application