Information on genetically modified (GM) crops

Page last updated: Friday, 1 June 2018 - 7:07pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Genetic modification (GM) is the use of modern biotechnology techniques to change the genes of an organism, such as a plant or animal. In Australia, no one may ‘deal’ with a genetically modified organism (GMO) unless the Australian Gene Technology Regulator has concluded that the GMO is safe to human health and the environment.

Genetically modified (GM) crops

As the world’s demand for food continues to increase plant breeders work to breed better yielding crop varieties. They use a range of methods including conventional breeding, mutagenesis, genetic modification, and marker aided selection to breed new improved crop varieties. Genetic modification allows plant breeders to produce a crop variety that could not be bred using conventional breeding.

There are two types of GM crops grown in Australia - insect resistant and herbicide tolerant cotton and herbicide tolerant canola.

Useful websites

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia’s GM crops website contains information on  GM crops in Western Australia.

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator website outlines the Australian regulatory system for GMOs and contains a list of approved Australian dealings with  GMOs.

The  Australian Biotechnology Council of Australia website provides science-based information about gene technology in agriculture.

Contact information

Genetic Modification Policy and Regulation