Communiqué – 4 September 2017

ABCA Communique #7 – 4 September 2017

ABCA Communiqué #7 – 4 September 2017

The Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA) met in Canberra on 4 September 2017. The meeting focussed on briefing and discussion regarding the 2017 Review of the National Gene Technology Regulatory Scheme.

The Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology (the Forum) recently announced its commitment to review the National Gene Technology Regulatory Scheme. Reviews of the Scheme are conducted at approximately five yearly intervals, in accordance with the Intergovernmental Gene Technology Agreement.

The Forum has announced that this will be a forward-looking review and will consider appropriate policy settings in what is an environmental of rapidly changing technologies.

The Council received a presentation on the review of the Scheme from senior Australian Government policy and regulatory officials.

The Council also noted the recent launch of the third edition of ABCA’s flagship publication, the Official Australian Guide to Agricultural Biotechnology and GM crops. The third edition was updated using the latest scientific data and reviewed by ABCA’s Expert Scientific Panel.

In addition to providing factual information on agricultural biotechnology, the third edition of the Guide answers common questions about GM crops and clearly outlines the regulatory arrangements and food safety assessment requirements. This updated edition of the Guide also highlights the evolution of plant breeding innovations, such as gene editing using CRISPR-Cas9.

The ABCA supports regulation of gene technology that is science-based and commensurate with risk. The Council provides credible, balanced, science-based information on biotechnology, to enable the public, and particularly the farming sector to make informed decisions about the application, uses and future of gene technology in Australia.

For more information on Council activities and broader information about the sector, visit the ABCA website (

Ken Matthews AO| Chair
BEc(Sydney) DUniv(Flinders) FAIM FIPAA FTSE