****Excerpts from Crop Biotech Update, dated July 9, 2010
** ***GM Canola Yield Triples in Western Australia* The Australian Oilseeds Federation (AOF) estimates that national GM canola acreage more than tripled as a result of the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) canola in Western Australia. Despite having been grown for only a year in Western Australia, planting of GM canola is over 50 percent of total production. AOF projects that GM plantings will make up around 8 percent of the total canola crop of around 1.61 million hectares. “This rapid uptake by technologically savvy Australian growers supports how useful the GM varieties can be in a production system to better manage weeds, reduce tillage, lower fuel use and provide alternatives to residual herbicides,” said Peter O’Keeffe, head of Monsanto Australia. He added that figures “clearly indicate that approved GM canola varieties are being embraced by farmers, and that the NSW, Victorian and Western Australian government’s decisions have benefited agriculture by enabling choice-based access to the technology.” For the original article see http://sl.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/grains-and-cropping/general/gm… *Demand Increasing for Suitable GM Testing and Approval Process* The global and scientific challenge of GMO testing was discussed during the fourth EuroScience Open Forum in Turin last July 6, 2010. According to experts, the challenge includes choosing suitable sampling techniques and finding ways to come up with credible results. The development and adoption of GM crops continue to advance through the years. However, the approval processes for commercializing the GM crops vary from country to country, which affects the global food trade. Thus, it is difficult to come up with a consistent and similar testing and approval process. Senior Scientist Claudia Paoletti of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that extensive research is required on the genetic variations that can take place among the samples of particular GM products, which also need complex sampling procedures. “It is not only important to know how many samples are being tested but also how they have been taken,” Paoletti said. “We need to find the balance between good science and time and financial constraints.” Visit http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/jrc/index.cfm?id=5740&lang=en#14 to view the summary of the workshop.