The Gene Technology Regulator is an independent statutory office holder responsible for administering the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act) and corresponding state and territory laws. The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has specific responsibility to protect the health and safety of people, and to protect the environment and carries our risk analysis to identify and manage any risks posed by new GM crops before allowing field trials and before seeds can be commercially produced and sold to farmers.
If a new GM crop poses risks that cannot be adequately managed, then a licence will not be granted.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is responsible for setting the standards for the safety, content and labelling of food. FSANZ has a rigorous and transparent process for assessing the safety of genetically modified foods, based on internationally established scientific principles and guidelines. Each genetically modified food is compared to an appropriate conventional (non-GM) food to determine if there are any differences from a molecular, toxicological and compositional point of view, and any differences then considered for safety and nutrition.
The goal is to make sure the genetically modified food has all the benefits and no more risks than those normally associated with conventional food. If the risks associated with any food assessed by FSANZ are too great to be managed, FSANZ will not grant approval for that food to be sold or consumed in Australia.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration ensures the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines, medical devices, blood and tissues in Australia. This includes GM and GM-derived therapeutic products.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is responsible for the registration, quality assurance and compliance of all pesticides and veterinary medicines up to the point of sale. This includes regulation of crop protection products created by or used on GM crops.
The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) assesses new and existing industrial chemicals, including genetically modified products, for their effects on human health and the environment.