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GM canola approved in Australia

(Saturday, July 26, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- ABC News, 07/25/03 via Agnet: Australia's first genetically modified commercial food crop is set to go ahead.

The gene technology regulator, Dr Sue Meek, says she has approved the release of Bayer's hybrid canola, saying the genetically modified crop is as safe to the public and the environment as conventional canola.

Dr Meek has told the ABC's AM program, that the application went through a stringent evaluation process and she is confident it does not pose any risks to the community.

"This is a scientific risk assessment process and of course you can never get a scientist or anyone with science training to say there's zero risk, but I would say that the level of consultation, the depth of the analysis that is done, we have a very, very high level of confidence in this analysis," she said.

But Greenpeace has described the decision as an "utter regulatory failure".

It says it will change Australian agriculture forever and goes against community and farm industry sentiment.