Genetically modified crops - Studies: Questions

GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS — STUDIES
634. Hon Lynn MacLaren to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:
(1) Is the Minister aware of the peer-reviewed paper by Dr Judy Carman et al, “A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet”?
(2) Will the Government reassess its GM crop strategy following the study’s conclusion that “it would be prudent for GM crops that are destined for human food and animal feed…to undergo long-term animal feeding studies preferably before commercial planting”?
(3) What studies on the impact of GM crops on human health is the Government aware of?
(4) Does the Government intend to conduct studies on the impact of GM crops on human health?
(5) For each GM wheat trial in Western Australia:
(a) when did it commence;
(b) when did it conclude;
(c) where did it take place; and
(d) what were the genetically engineered traits?
(6) Are GM wheat trials planned for the future?
(7) If yes to (6), for each planned trial:
(a) when is it expected to commence;
(b) when is it expected to conclude;
(c) where is it expected to take place; and
(d) what will be the genetically engineered traits?
(8) Is the Minister aware that Japan and South Korea stopped imports of United States of America wheat after unapproved wheat was found in the fields in Oregon?
(9) What measures is the Minister implementing to ensure that Western Australia’s non-GM wheat exports are not at risk if GM wheat trials proceed in Western Australia?


Hon Ken Baston replied:
(1) Yes
(2) No, the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) notes the assessment of the study by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) published on their website in July 2013 at http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/Pages/Response-to-Dr-Carman's-study.aspx that noted the data presented in the study did not support the authors’ interpretations and conclusions, with many deficiencies with the design, conduct and reporting of the study sufficient enough to invalidate the study conclusions.
(3) If the Hon. Member is referring to studies using animal models to assess the impact of GM crops on human health, DAFWA is only aware of publically available studies and takes advice from FSANZ in this matter.
(4) No
(5) Trial 1 (Office of Gene Technology Regulator reference 053/2004)
(a) April 2005
(b) Licence surrendered March 2007
(c) Corrigin
(d) Salt tolerance, cyanamide resistance
Trial 2 (Office of Gene Technology Regulator reference DIR 099)
(a) Planted in May 2011
(b) Ongoing — currently in post trial monitoring phase
(c) Merredin
(d) Altered grain composition, nutrient utilisation efficiency, antibiotic resistance
Trial 3 (Office of Gene Technology Regulator reference DIR 102)
(a) Planted in July 2011
(b) Ongoing — currently in post trial monitoring phase
(c) Corrigin
(d) Salinity, drought and cold/frost tolerance, tolerance to low phosphorus, nitrogen use efficiency, enhanced zinc uptake, antibiotic resistance
Trial 4 (Office of Gene Technology Regulator reference DIR 112)
(a) Planted in May 2012
(b) Ongoing — currently in post trial monitoring phase
(c) Merredin
(d) Altered grain composition, Enhanced nutrient utilisation efficiency , Selectable marker gene expression.
(6) Yes
(7) DAFWA is aware of two possible GM wheat trials being planned in the future by other organisations using DAFWA’s New Genes for New Environments facilities. Details are not yet available.
(8) Yes
(9) DAFWA’s New Genes for New Environments facilities are run under the strict containment requirements of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.