Quarterly Update – Edition 10

  • Council activity
  • Key issues
  • In the pipeline
  • Resources
  • For information
  • Events


This year promises to be very busy for agricultural biotechnology, both nationally and internationally. Importantly, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the introduction of Australia’s first GM crop. Introduced in 1996, the insect resistant cotton, known as INGARD® or Bt cotton, was developed by the CSIRO in partnership Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD), which in turn had a license from Monsanto to use their technology. The GM cotton had a gene introduced from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), used extensively as a spray product in organic farming, and the introduction of this gene enabled the plant to produce a Bt protein which killed cotton’s major pest, Helicoverpa or the cotton bollworm, when it ate the leaves.

Prior to the introduction of GM cotton, growers spent approximately $50 million annually on insecticides to control cotton pests. Insect resistant GM cotton provided growers with an opportunity to implement more effective integrated pest management strategies into their farming systems and improved the sustainable use of crop protection products.

The cotton industry has gone from strength to strength on the back of agricultural biotechnology, and GM varieties account for 99 per cent of our nation’s cotton crop. There have been eight varieties of insect resistant and/or herbicide tolerant cotton approved for commercial release in Australia. Some of these varieties have now been superseded as the technology continues to improve and evolve, keeping Australia at the forefront as new varieties are rolled out. Further, field trials currently licensed by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), include traits such as enhanced fibre quality, altered fatty acid composition of the cottonseed oil and more insect resistance and herbicide tolerance traits.

The agricultural biotechnology sector is also hoping for positive progress in the political and regulatory arenas during 2016. The potential repeal of the GM crop moratorium in Western Australia, following the introduction of legislation within the state’s Parliament late last year, and more recently, indications that the Australian Greens may change their anti-GM policy following recent statements by Senator Di Natale are promising.

Australia’s regulatory agencies, including Food Standards Australia New Zealand, have joined their international counterparts in focusing on new biotechnology tools and investigating whether they will require regulatory oversight or not. A clear path forward for these technologies will go a long way towards providing certainty to researchers and developers hoping to bring a number of agricultural innovations to market much quicker than has been possible in the past.

We will also track with interest developments with the fast-growing GM salmon, the first GM animal approved for use in the food chain in the USA in December, following more than 20 years of research, development and regulatory uncertainty; the trials of GM insects in Australia and overseas; and, the pathway of the hornless dairy calves produced through gene editing technologies that were born last year in the USA.

ABCA will continue to pursue recognition of the current and potential benefits of agricultural biotechnology by providing quality, factual, science-based information about gene technology in agriculture.

 It is critical that the Australian farming sector in all states and territories can access and adopt this technology for the benefit of national and global food security, the nation’s farming sector, and the environment, thus helping to deliver a more sustainable and prosperous future for Australian agriculture.

Welcome to 2016, it looks like an exciting year ahead.

Ken Matthews

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ABCA provides a weekly summary of biotechnology news developments for subscribers. Contact ABCA to be added to the distribution list.

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ABCA is on twitter at @info_ABCA.

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After a five year of legal battle, an organic farmer has lost his bid to sue his canola-growing neighbour for damages once and for all. On 12 February, the High Court refused to consider organic farmer Steve Marsh’s bid to appeal the 2014 Supreme Court dismissal of his attempt to win damages of more than $80,000.

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The Australian Greens party leader Richard Di Natale has publicly stated that he has no personal philosophical or ideological objections to the science behind GM foods and crops, and this has put him at odds with his own party which opposes GM technologies.

Despite Australia’s successful use of GM crops over the last two decades, the Greens oppose GM crop production citing fears about the potential for negative impacts on human health and the environment.

Senator Di Natale said he had no personal objection to the science of GM crops, and that the Greens’ goal was to connect more with rural and regional communities where they’ve experienced growing support because of land use and mining issues.

This story received widespread coverage in the national media, with Australian farming groups welcoming Dr Di Natale’s comments and looking forward to a dialogue with the Greens leader. Some of the commentary is included below:

Australian Academy of Science GM expert and GRDC’s representative on the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia’s (ABCA) Board, Dr TJ Higgins, said it was a great step forward to see Dr Di Natale as Greens leader recognising the indisputable safety of genetic modification technology.

“I think he deserves support for taking this position, for being cautiously positive and recognising the validity of the science [behind GMOs], as the Greens do for climate change, as well as the complexities of the issue,” said Dr Higgins.

“I think it is a hard thing for him to do because of his constituency … but I admire him for listening to the science and now saying all the data points to food from GM crops being as safe as non-GM food.”

CropLife Australia CEO Matthew Cossey, said that Dr Di Natale should be commended for showing genuine thought leadership on plant biotechnology, and to maintain an intellectual and scientific consistency – in line with other policies, like climate change and the environment, the Greens must adopt a pro-GM crop policy position.

Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann says Senator Di Natale’s acceptance of GM crop science represents a “ginormous” shift in attitude. “I would encourage the Greens to look at all angles of this debate and understand that any potential change of policy – which Grain Producers Australia is open to discuss further – would be an important step in building closer ties with Australian agriculture and farmers.”

GrainGrowers chief executive Alicia Garden said her group believed Senator Di Natale’s science and evidence-based approach to genetically modified (GM) crops was welcome news to advance the historically vexed debate.

Chairman of the WA Pastoralists and Graziers’ Association’s Western Graingrowers Committee Gary McGill said adhering to anti-GM crop policies or campaigns meant disregarding credible scientific evidence.

National Farmers Federation president Brent Finlay welcomed Senator Di Natale’s “sensible comments” saying they acknowledged the underlying science of GM crops and deserved broad praise.

Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay welcomed Senator Di Natale’s comments saying he and his colleagues were welcome to visit cotton growers on-farm to see the “enormous benefits” biotechnology had brought their industry, “and, by extension, could bring to other areas of agriculture”.

Federated Farmers NZ has welcomed a shift in thinking by the Australian Green Party and encourages their New Zealand counterparts to be equally open minded about the benefits of genetic modification.

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the production and commercial sale of AquaBounty’s fast-growing genetically modified salmon in November. The go-ahead for the AquAdvantage salmon is a significant milestone for agricultural biotechnology, as it is the first approval of a GM animal raised for the human food chain.

“AquAdvantage Salmon is a game-changer that brings healthy and nutritious food to consumers in an environmentally responsible manner without damaging the ocean and other marine habitats. Using land-based aquaculture systems, this rich source of protein and other nutrients can be farmed close to major consumer markets in a more sustainable manner,” said Ronald Stotish, Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty.

 AquaBounty claim that their salmon production will:

  • Be low impact – with production on land eliminating the risk of escapes and the risks of pollutants or contaminants harming marine ecosystems, and allowing for 95 per cent of the water used to be recycled.
  • Help conserve wild fish populations – Salmon is one of the world’s most efficient protein producers. The GM salmon grows to market size using 25 per cent less feed than conventional salmon, and this reduces impacts on wild fish used as salmon feed. The Feed Conversion Ration for the GM salmon is 1:1, that is, one kilogram of feed is required to put on one kilogram of body weight.
  • Reduce carbon emissions – with facilities located close to major metropolitan cities, the GM salmon will travel fewer miles, and therefore have a carbon footprint 23 to 25 times less, than salmon imported from Norway and Chile.

The salmon will be produced in Canada and the Panama.

In approving the GM salmon, the US regulators determined that no additional labeling of food from AquAdvantage Salmon is required domestically because the data and information evaluated show that food derived from AquAdvantage Salmon is not materially different from food derived from other Atlantic salmon. However, the FDA recognises that some consumers may be interested to know if the salmon they consume is GM or not, so they have decided that manufacturers who wish to voluntarily label their food products as containing or not containing GM Atlantic salmon may do so as long as such labeling is truthful and not misleading.

In an interview with ABC Radio, Dr Adam Main, CEO of the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association, said that the Australian industry will not use GM salmon until it was proven safe and demanded by the community or consumers.

He acknowledged that there will be an ever increasing demand for protein supply, particularly in Asia, and as the world population continues to grow.

“We can see in the future, that all and any agriculture and aquaculture industries will use whatever tools they have to meet that demand, it [biotechnology] will be in the toolboxes of the future,” he said.

The Tasmanian salmon industry remains supportive of biotechnology research, and would not like to see it restricted or the industry will be left behind in the future.

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According to a recent article by the ABC and Friends of the Earth, the production of foods from crops and animals developed using new plant breeding techniques is in the spotlight around the world as countries determine how such products will be regulated. In Australia, an expert scientific panel was established in 2012 to advise Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) on the issue, and according to media reports, the final decision on regulating these so-called New Plant Breeding Techniques is imminent. This claim has been denied by FSANZ who has stated that a final decision has not been made as there is an international discussion happening at the moment.

The expert scientific panel was chaired by Professor Peter Langridge from the University of Adelaide, who is quoted as saying the panel had advised FSANZ some of the techniques should be de-regulated, but others should be classified as GM.

Among other applications, these innovative plant breeding tools can allow scientists to make small edits in the genetic code of an organism. These edits can also occur naturally, but now instead of waiting for the natural recombination or mutation, researchers can mimic natural processes and introduce them in a targeted and precise manner to obtain desirable traits.

According to a news report, the European commission is set to publish a report in a few weeks that may decide whether some of these new breeding techniques gene-edited crops should be regulated. The verdict is crucial for the future adoption of these techniques as it will be influential in shaping regulations in many other countries globally.

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Legislation to repeal the moratorium on GM crops, which has been in place since 2003 in Western Australia, was introduced into the State’s Parliament at the end of November. The Bill will allow any crop assessed and registered by the national Gene Technology Regulator, to be grown in WA without an extra layer of red tape.

The WA Government cited the potential to grow commercial crops of GM cotton in WA’s far north as a factor in its moves to repeal laws restricting use of the technology.

“GM cotton could be the future of the Ord (River irrigation scheme),” Agriculture Minister Ken Baston said.

“Another 50,000 hectares of agricultural land is coming on-stream in WA’s north. We need to think about our future, not shut off opportunities.”

The repeal of the ban has the support of key farmer representative groups in WA.

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The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry is currently conducting an enquiry into the role of technology in increasing agricultural productivity in Australia. The terms of reference have particular regard to:

  • improvements in the efficiency of agricultural practices due to new technology, and the scope for further improvements;
  • emerging technology relevant to the agricultural sector, in areas including but not limited to telecommunications, remote monitoring and drones, plant genomics, and agricultural chemicals; and
  • barriers to the adoption of emerging technology.

A number of submissions have been made in relation to the need for increased research and development, and in particular agricultural biotechnology research.

ABCA Council members who made submissions include: AusBiotech, CropLife Australia, Grain Trade Australia, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Cotton Australia, Ag Institute Australia, Grain Growers Ltd and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

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Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the company behind the GM non-browning Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny apples approved for commercial release in the USA, has applied to the US Department of Agriculture for commercial approval of a third non-browning apple variety, the Arctic Fuji.

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Scientists in Western Australia have published results of a study into the escape of GM glyphosate tolerant canola seeds into the wild and their potential to persist, and the management implications.

The study concluded that while glyphosate tolerant canola can escape into bushland and roadsides, volunteer herbicide tolerant plants can easily be managed by alternative weed control practices, such as cultivation or treatment with an alternative herbicide.

In one area of bushland, the glyphosate tolerant canola completely failed to establish beyond the first generation, and in a different area, the seeds did establish, but died out after three years.

The article, ‘Transgenic glyphosate-resistant canola (Brassica napus) can persist outside agricultural fields in Australia’, authored by the University of Western Australia’s Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative’s Professor Stephen Powles and Dr Roberto Busi was published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.

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Dr Heather Bray from the School of Humanities at the University of Adelaide released a study into community attitudes to GM and agriculture in November, putting GM crops and agricultural biotechnology into a wider context of ethical issues considered by consumers when purchasing food products. The study showed that negative opinions about GM foods and crops can be one avenue for some people to express their dislike of multinational companies involved in the food production, others might express the same dislike for such companies by their approaches to animal welfare or their preferences for organic products.

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A leading researcher in the area of animal genetics and biotechnology from the University of California Davis, Dr Alison Van Eenennaam, argues that a new approach is needed for the regulation of food products derived from animals developed using modern biotechnologies in a new paper available online in the journal Agriculture and Food Security.

In the paper, Dr Van Eenennaam said that various forms of biotechnology including artificial insemination and molecular diagnostics and vaccines have already benefited food-animal production through improved genetics, nutrition and health, but efforts to develop even healthier and more productive food animals are being thwarted because of regulatory processes focused on the use of biotechnology rather than evaluation of the risks and benefits posed by the resulting animals themselves.

“Globally, more than 20 per cent of animal protein is lost as a result of disease,” says Van Eenennaam.

“Efforts are underway to use recombinant DNA technology and related genetic engineering methods to specifically develop food animals that are resistant to some of these major diseases. However, domestic and international regulations have, until now, prevented any such animals from being approved for sale and consumption,” said Dr Van Eenennaam.

“Given the current and growing global need for animal-based food, it is becoming increasingly evident that new varieties of genetically improved livestock need to be evaluated according to their potential risks and benefits, not according to what specific breeding method was used to produce them,” Van Eenennaam says.

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An article published in Australian Life Scientist recently focused on the harsh reality for agricultural biotechnology in Australia following a very promising start in 1988, when Australia was the first country in the world to release a GMO into the environment – a neutered strain of the crown gall bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens that prevents crown gall disease in newly grafted stone and pome fruit trees, which is now sold worldwide.

Since then, only three commodities, cotton, canola and carnations have been commercialised with GM traits. Most recently, key gene silencing technology developed by CSIRO scientists, is being deployed in products in North America.

Dr Jim Peacock, a pioneering GM crop researcher and former Chief Scientist of Australia, says that despite Australian farmers being exceptional in the world for rapidly adopting new agronomy and management techniques and making them a success, Australia’s ability to commercialise new products is pathetic.

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This article, ‘GMO trade in a world of fragmented consumer preferences and needs’, looks at how to keep GM and conventional agricultural products separate from farm to market to ensure a wide array of trade opportunities, with a particular focus on developing countries.

The authors, Professor Colin Carter and K. Aleks Schaefer from the University of California, Davis conclude, “The coexistence of GM and non-GM crops is critical to the future of global agriculture despite the political and regulatory barriers to implementation… We cannot hope to achieve international food security without biotechnology. Moreover, as incomes in the developing world rise, consumer demand for specialised agricultural products, like organics, will undoubtedly grow. Agriculture markets may be unable to meet this demand unless we can effectively manage conventional agricultural products alongside GMOs.”

Further information:


The table below provides a summary of applications made to amend the Food Standards Code by approving the listed GM commodities as safe for use in Australia and New Zealand. 

Reference Commodity Applicant Modification Details
A1106 Corn Pioneer Hi-Bred Australia (Reference 4114) Herbicide tolerance, insect resistance FSANZ has approved this application.
A1110 Soybean Monsanto Australia (MON87751) Insect resistant FSANZ has approved this application.
A1112 Corn Syngenta Australia


Herbicide tolerant x2 FSANZ has approved this application.
A1114 Corn Monsanto Australia


High yield FSANZ has approved this application.
A1116 Corn Syngenta Australia (MZIR098) Herbicide tolerance and insect resistance A draft food regulatory measure has been prepared. Public submissions can be made until 29 February 2016.
A1118 Corn Monsanto Australia (MON87419) Herbicide tolerances Preliminary assessment undertaken. Public submissions open until 22 March 2016.

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This table provides a summary of licence applications and approvals granted by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) in relation to agricultural biotechnology in the last quarter.

Reference Commodity Developer Modification Status
DIR 138 Canola Bayer CropScience Herbicide tolerances (Glufosinate and glyphosate) Commercial release sought. Public submissions closed on 15 January 2016.
DIR 139 Canola Pioneer Hi-Bred Australia Pty Ltd Herbicide tolerance Commercial release sought. Public submissions close on 11 February 2016.
DIR 142 Wheat Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victoria Enhanced nitrogen use efficiency and water use efficiency. Field trial licence sought. Public comment sought by 16 March 2016.

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A moratorium blanket ban on genetically modified crops in Tasmania has nothing to do with the science behind the crops or their impacts on human health, according to the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) director Dr Holger Meinke.

Dr Meinke said the moratorium was upheld purely to give the state a commercial advantage in the marketplace.

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World-renowned environmentalist Mark Lynas shared his experience of moving from anti-GMO activist to advocate for biotechnology at a featured workshop at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show.

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Vivian Moses, Visiting Professor of Biotechnology, King’s College London has written a piece for The Conversation, looking at the challenges biotechnology companies have had over the last two decades, the mistakes they made in the early years of GM crop commercialisation, the opposition of environmentalists, and the current situation regarding GM crop acceptance in most continents.

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A genetically modified Mediterranean fruit fly which prevents the female offspring from reaching adulthood so they can’t damage fruit crops or reproduce will be subjected to glasshouse trials by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA next year.

The aim of the trials is to see if the GM fruit flies can be raised successfully and cost-effectively and if the males are compatible mates with the pest females.

Developed by Oxitec, a spin-off company from the UK’s Oxford University, the flies have already been trialed in lab conditions and approved for outdoor trials in Brazil.

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Researchers at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines are working to develop a new strain of hyperefficient, drought­resistant rice known as C4, which could play a vital role in ensuring food security as the climate steadily changes.

As part of the process, researchers are working to identify the genes in C4 plants (such as corn) which are responsible for creating the plants’ cell structure and activating the more efficient photosynthetic process, with the aim of figuring out how to transfer then into the rice genome.

According to an article, scientists are hopeful of a breakthrough soon, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named the C4 project one of the “10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2015.”

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According to an article in Australasian Science, opposition to GM animals could leave millions hungry in a world with a ballooning population and deteriorating environment. According the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, there are 795 million people (more than 10 per cent of the world population) who are chronically undernourished. The article states that GM technology and gene editing must be part of the solution and GM animals are a promising development.

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Two dairy calves genetically edited to not grow horns are being raised at the University of California, Davis and they will be used in a breeding program, which should see their hornlessness passed onto their offspring. Gene editing could help save the dairy and beef industries millions of dollars in shipping and horn removal costs and have positive animal welfare implications according to researchers.

The calves are the result of research undertaken by scientists at Recombinetics. There remains uncertainty about how/if such animals will be regulated in the same manner as animals developed via gene technology, or whether they will require regulation at all before entering mainstream agriculture and eventually, the foodchain.

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This article in the New York Times highlights the depth of research underway in the field of animal biotechnology, particularly ‘gene-editing’, around the world following the approval of the GM salmon in the USA.

Gene editing techniques have made impossible or impractical goals in animal breeding worth pursuing because they are faster and cheaper to use than genetic modification for example. The author writes, “Using enzymes that can be directed to cut DNA at specific locations, they allow scientists to remove and replace bits of genetic code more or less on demand.”

Many of the new generation edited animals outlined in the article do not contain genetic material from another species, a concern frequently cited by opponents of GM foods.

Some of the research outlined is presented below

Animal Country Research
Mosquitoes UK Gene edited mosquitoes that no longer carry the parasite which causes malaria.
Dairy cows USA Gene editing tools have been used to introduce the piece of genetic code that makes Red Angus cattle naturally hornless, or ‘polled’ into the Holstein dairy cattle line. The polled trait is dominant and will be inherited by offspring of the gene edited calves.
Pigs UK Three genes in domestic pigs which make them vulnerable to African swine fever have been changed to resemble the genes from wild pigs that are resistant to the disease.
Pigs USA Pigs that can be fattened with less food.
Beef cattle Brazil Beef cattle that grow large muscles, yielding more meat that may also be more tender.
Chickens Unspecified Working on chickens that produce only females for egg-laying.
Beef cattle Unspecified Cattle that produce only males, since females are less efficient at converting feed to muscle.
Goats China Meatier cashmere goats that also conveniently grow longer hair for clothing manufacturing.
Pigs China Miniature pigs lacking a growth gene to be sold as novelty pets.
Beagles China Bulky beagles lacking a muscle-inhibiting gene, an edit that could make for faster, stronger dogs for hunting and police and military operations.
Pigs Unspecified Editing pigs to make them more compatible organ donors for humans.

The US Government is currently reviewing the way biotechnology is regulated. How or whether gene-edited animals will be regulated in the USA, and in many jurisdictions globally, including in Australia as outlined earlier, remains unknown and untested.

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Attendees at a recent conference hosted by the UK’s peak farmer body, the National Farmers’ Union, were told that promoting the public benefits of GM technology must be prioritised if British farmers are to gain access to it.

NFU Deputy President Minette Batters chaired the conference and said: “GM crops are already part of the food supply chain and have the potential to be a big part of British agriculture’s future. The conference was about the NFU helping its members lead an informed debate on the topic.

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  • According to news reports, India has cancelled Greenpeace’s licence to operate in the country citing financial fraud and falsification of data. Greenpeace India has campaigned against coal mines in forests, GM crops, nuclear power and toxic waste management.

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Location: National Convention Centre, Canberra

Date: 1-2 March, 2016

Details: The ABARES Outlook conference is the premier information and networking forum for public and private sector decision makers in the agriculture sector.

Contact: www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/outlook-2016/Pages/default.aspx



Location: Parliament House, Canberra

Date: 24-25 March 2016

Details: The 15th annual Science meets Parliament takes place on 24 and 25 March 2015. It will bring 200 working scientists to Canberra for a two-day program of professional development and networking aimed at helping them better communicate their science to the media, policymakers and parliamentarians.

Contact: http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/science-meets-parliament/



Location: Moscone Center, San Francisco, California

Date: 6-10 June 2016

Details: This leading international conference covers all areas of biotechnology from oncology and rare diseases to industrial and environmental, food and agricultural, regulatory science and digital health to intellectual property and emerging opportunities in global markets.

Contact: http://convention.bio.org



Location: The Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney

Date: 15-16 June 2016

Details: The 2016 ATSE National Technology Challenges Dialogue: Agribusiness 2030 will bring together Australia’s top agriculture and agribusiness leaders and innovators from research, industry and government to explore the opportunities and challenges for agribusiness in the digital age.

Contact: [email protected]



Location: Stamford Plaza, Brisbane

Date: 2-3 August 2016

Details: This year’s Ag & Foodtech Symposium will celebrate innovation in the agriculture and food industries, exploring innovation in Australian agriculture; market access; investment; and issues specific to the adoption of biotechnology in Northern and Southern Australia. Bringing together industry, researchers and investors the Ag & Foodtech Symposium will highlight areas that industry needs to address in order to accelerate technology translation and the adoption of advanced agricultural and food biotechnology innovations..

Contact: [email protected]



Location: Melbourne Convention Centre

Date: 24-27 October 2016

Details: International Biofest 2016 will be made up of three events – the 17th International Biotechnology Symposium (IBS) and Exhibition; AusBiotech 2016; and, Australia Biotech Invest 2016. IBS is organised under the auspices of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) since 1960 and is the most representative biotechnology event at the global level, at which more than 1,000 participants congregate from academia and industry, to explore the advances and frontiers of science and applied biotechnologies. Topics will include agri-business; industrial and environmental biotechnology; pharmaceutical, medical and molecular; bioenergy and bio-refinery; the bio-economy, policy and investment; and biosensors and nanotechnology.

Contact: www.ibs2016.org



Location: Fargo, North Dakota, USA

Date: 18-21 September 2016

Details: Themed “Better Food, Better World” ABIC 2016 will focus on how public and private research collaborates by using science to solve issues related to the increasing demand for food. Members will hear from university researchers, private sector scientists, independent researchers and others who are applying the practical use of science to impact health and nutrition and make a difference in feeding the world.

Contact: abic2016.com


Disclaimer: The Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia Limited (ABCA) gives no warranty and makes no representation that the information contained in these sections is suitable for any purpose or is free from error. ABCA accepts no responsibility for any person acting or relying upon the information contained in these sections, and disclaims all liability.