Statement on genetically modified banana applicaiton

​Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has commenced its assessment of an application from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to permit food from a disease-resistant genetically modified (GM) banana.  

Banana line QCAV-4, modified to provide resistance to Panama disease TR4, is the first whole GM fruit submitted to FSANZ for assessment and approval.   

QUT is concurrently seeking food approval for the banana fruit from FSANZ and a licence for the commercial cultivation of the GM banana plant from the Gene Technology Regulator.  

Assessment of application A1274 – Food derived from disease-resistant banana line QCAV-4 will include molecular, chemical, compositional and nutritional assessments and consideration of the scientific evidence relating to the safety of the GM food.  

The assessment is expected to take around 9 months and will include one round of public consultation at a date to be advised. 

If the product is approved by FSANZ, Australian and New Zealand foo​d ministers​ will have 60 days to review FSANZ’s decision. 

Statements attributable to the FSANZ CEO, Dr Sandra Cuthbert 

“This is the first whole GM fruit to be assessed by FSANZ. If approved, it would also be a world-first approval for a GM banana.  

“The food sector is seeing rapid innovation and change in products and markets globally. FSANZ’s primary role is to ensure a safe food supply so Australian and New Zealand consumers can be confident the foods they choose to buy are safe to eat.  

“Consumers can have trust and confidence in FSANZ’s independent scientific assessment. We develop world-leading standards and our experts have a strong track record of assessing the safety of novel foods.  

“We will invite public submissions on any proposed changes to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code resulting from our assessment of this application.”​

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