THE Office of Gene Technology Regulator has approved a genetically-modified wheat trial in Horsham.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries applied to the regulator in August for a two-hectare trial of wheat modified for increased yield stability and improved drought tolerance.
The office granted the department a licence, giving them approval for a field trial of wheat plants.
The field trial may occur over two growing seasons between November 2013 and March 2016.
An Office of Gene Technology Regulator report said issues relating to the health and safety of people and the protection of the environment were considered in making the decision to issue the licence.
"The finalised risk assessment and risk management plan concludes that this field trial poses negligible risks to people and the environment," the report said.
"Licence conditions have been imposed to restrict spread and persistence of the crops' genetic material in the environment."
Licence conditions have also restricted the size, location and duration of the trial.
A department spokesman said the purpose of the ﬁeld trial was to evaluate the agronomic performance of the GM wheat under ﬁeld conditions.
“Upon approval from the regulator, genetically modified wheat plants would be planted in a ﬁeld trial site, in a replicated row design,” he said.
“Their growth, development and grain yield will be measured and compared with corresponding control, non-modiﬁed wheat lines.’’