Australian OGTR Approves GM Chickpea Field Trial


Australia’s Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has issued license DIR 166 to Queensland University of Technology for the limited and controlled release (field trial) of chickpea genetically modified (GM) for drought and other environmental stress tolerance.

The field trial is proposed to take place from June 2019 until December 2024 in Walkamin, Tablelands Regional Council in Queensland on up to 3 hectares per year. It will assess the drought and heat tolerance and agronomic characteristics of GM chickpea under field conditions. The GM plant material grown in the field trial will not be used in human food or animal feed.

The Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) and the license were finalized from input received during consultation with the public, State and Territory governments, Australian Government agencies, the Minister for the Environment, the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee, and local councils.

The finalized RARMP and its summary, a set of Questions and Answers on this decision, and a copy of the license are available online from the DIR 166 page in the OGTR website.