Call for comment on food made from genetically modified wheat

​​Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on an application to allow the sale and use of food made from a genetically modified (GM) wheat.

FSANZ interim CEO Dr Sandra Cuthbert said the application seeks approval to permit food derived from wheat line IND-00412-7 which has been genetically modified to provide drought and herbicide tolerance.

“If approved, food made from this type of GM wheat could be imported into Australia and New Zealand in products including flour, bread, pasta and biscuits.”  Dr Cuthbert said.

“Our safety assessment found no potential public health and safety concerns with this variety of GM wheat. It is as safe as non-GM wheat varieties.”

A safety assessment forms part of the approval process for all GM applications. The safety assessment considers the specific genetic modification process, potential unintended changes, the nutritional 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, food made from this wheat would need to be labelled as ‘genetically modified’ if there was any novel DNA and/or novel proteins in the final food.

The approval would not be for the growth of GM wheat in Australia or New Zealand. Importation of unprocessed viable wheat seeds or any cultivation 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 closes at 6pm (Canberra time) on 31 January 2022.

What happens with my feedback?

We will publish all submissions to our website as soon as possible at the end of the public comment period.

All feedback will be considered by FSANZ before making a decision on whether to approve the application.

Our decision will be notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree to include the amendment in the Food Standards Code.

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