More on the herbicide resistance found in a distantly related plant, charlock, near to a GM oilseed rape (canola) trial.

For a profile of Australia's Gene Technology Regulator



The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator in assessing the application for commercial release of GE Liberty Link canola had this to say re charlock:

"The likelihood of transfer of the introduced genes from the GM canola to the less closely related brassicaceous weed species Raphanus raphanistrum, Hirschfeldia incana and Sinapis arvensis is very low" (Bayer GE Canola Risk Assessment Risk Management Plan p. 12, 2002) Elsewhere the risk is described as "negligible". (para. 569)

"charlock is a problem in agricultural areas and is a particularly serious weed in cropping regions of New South Wales (Groves et al. 2000). It can also occur in disturbed sites along roadsides and railways in canola growing regions of Australia (Dignam 2001)." (para 553)

Of course, the Regulator dismisses any risk as irrelevant because there is no evidence that GE contamination causes harm to the environment or human health - a conclusion based on so little evidence that you can understand why David Suzuki called anyone making those claims either "incredibly stupid" or "deliberately lying!".

The OGTR does not even examine the possibility of introgression. The possibility of hybridisation is recognised but is argued to be of extremely low likelihood.


"GM crops are the biggest threat to the agricultural industry we have ever faced and industry leaders have no right to accept GM contamination and industry sabotage on behalf of farmers that can not afford to accept it.

...millions of dollars have been invested by governments in GM technology in the hope that the scientific sector will be self funding. No real benefits have been forthcoming and market risk is rapidly worsening.

No government should sacrifice a viable industry in order to prop up a high risk, failing, fledgling industry and if they do, somebody other than farmers or taxpayers should be liable for the consequences." - Julie Newman, Network of Concerned Farmers, Australia