French biotech giant Aventis is expected to apply to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator for a licence to commercialise some of its genetically modified canola within the next six months.

David Pike, the company’s plant breeder, explained to the Herald and Weekly Times that while the application procedure will probably take about a year, “we now believe we’ve got varieties to take to the market”.

Aventis is currently in its third year of field trials for its GM canola, and operates five trial sites in Victoria and two in southern NSW. The canola is resistant to the company’s group N herbicide, Liberty, formulated to control broad leaf weeds and grasses. It will be a relatively expensive seed to buy, warned Pike, but costs will be offset by yield increases of between 10% and 15%.

Pike also sought to reassure farmers that Aventis would not establish a closed-loop marketing system in which growers had to return their harvest back to the company.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Handbook on the Labelling of Genetically Modified Foods, Ingredients and Additives

World Agricultural Biotechnology: GMOs to 2004

World Market For GM-Food Testing