7 September 2022

ABCA Communiqué – 07 September 2022

The Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA) met today in Canberra.

This was the first meeting of the Council with ABCA’s new Chair, Dr Joe Smith.

Representatives from CropLife Australia, AusBiotech, the Australian Seed Federation, the Australian Oilseeds Federation,CANEGROWERS, Animal Medicines Australia, Grain Producers Australia, GrainGrowers, Grain Trade Australia, Cotton Australia, the Ag Institute, the Grains Research and Development Corporation and Science and Technology Australia joined the meeting.

The Council met with biotechnology regulators and policy makers to discuss recent developments in the regulatory space. The Council discussed other topics of interest and upcoming opportunities for the sector. The Council also learned about initiatives to upskill the next generation of plant and animal breeders.

Members agreed it is vital that public policy is based on the best available science. The Council has a key role to ensure public awareness, public policy and the regulatory environment are guided by scientific and factually correct information regarding the benefits that agricultural biotechnology offers to Australian farmers.

Concerns were raised by some members of the Council about the length of time it is taking for completion of the implementation of the recommendations that followed the Third Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme. Members highlighted the importance of updating the Scheme both for agricultural and medical research.