Omega-3 Producing GM Canola Approved for Food and Feed Use in Australia

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Australian regulators have approved a new omega-3 producing GM canola variety for food and animal feed applications which was developed by Australian agrichemical firm Nufarm’s subsidiary, Nuseed.  Nufarm said its canola was the first plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids and that one hectare of the oilseed could potentially give an omega-3 yield comparable to 10,000 kg of wild caught fish, according a report in Undercurrent News.  

With review and approval by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the modified canola could now be used for both animal and human nutrition in Australia and New Zealand.  Nufarms plans to initially introduce the omega 3 oil produced from the canola for aquaculture feed uses under the Aquaterra brand, followed later by human nutrition applications under the name Nutriterra. The company is to focus on continuing research activities related to further field trials in 2018 as well as consider regulatory applications in other markets that recognized Australia as a reference country.

Nufarm had received approval from the USA for scaling up its pre-commercial production under the US Department of Agriculture notification scheme, with planting scheduled to take place in April and May in Montana.  Plant-based sources of omega-3 oils could relieve pressure on wild fish stocks, which are primary source of the fatty acids.  

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