Seed list reforms

10 December 1999

Seed list reforms

DRAFT regulations aimed at tightening the procedures necessary to introduce genetically modified varieties onto the National Seed List have been issued for consultation.

The government has proposed that all GM varieties must have marketing consent before they can be accepted onto the National List. In addition, once they are on the list, it has been suggested varieties must be clearly marked as being genetically modified.

The decision follows a legal challenge, after it was discovered earlier this year that government had agreed to GM varieties being classed as certified for sale outside the statutory system while still being tested to join the National List.

Environmentalists claimed that the changes would speed up the commercialisation process and allow GM crops to enter the market sooner.

Other changes proposed include a requirement for novel food ingredients to be included on the list only if they have been authorised under the novel food regulation.

The government would also like a public register of applications under consideration.

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