A cautionary tale: Fish don't lay tomatoes

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A cautionary tale: Fish don't lay tomatoes

A report on the Gene technology Bill 2000

November 2000

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000

ISBN 0 642 71094 5

View the report as a single document - (PDF xxKB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Membership of the committee (PDF 40KB)
List of acronyms (PDF 40KB)
Preface (PDF 40KB)
Recommendations (PDF 40KB)
Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF 40KB)

Terms of Reference
Conduct of the inquiry
Development of the Gene Technology Bill 2000

Chapter 2 - Background on gene technology (PDF 128KB)

What is gene technology?
Genes and gene expression
Benefits associated with gene technology
Risks associated with gene technology
GMOs covered by the Gene Technology Bill 2000

Chapter 3 - Objectives of the Gene Technology Bill (PDF 40KB)

Objective of the Bill
The current regulatory regime
Measures to achieve the Bill’s objective
The precautionary principle
A precautionary approach
Risk management versus risk prevention
Environmental impact
The national interest
Human medical research
Ethical considerations
Animal welfare
Benefits of gene technology
Alternative regulatory models
Placement of a moratorium
The role of multinationals
Implications for trade competitiveness
Trial site locations
Commercial-in-confidence information
Cost recovery
Adequacy of public reporting provisions
Public confidence
Review of gene technology legislation

Chapter 4 - Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (PDF 24KB)

Structure of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
Interface with existing regulators – ‘one-stop shop’ model
Risk assessment processes
Confidential commercial information
Powers and investigative capability of the Regulator
Cost recovery and funding measures

Chapter 5 - The Expert Committees and Ministerial Council (PDF 12KB)

Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee
Gene Technology Community Consultative Group
Gene Technology Ethics Committee
The Ministerial Council
Rights of third-parties to seek review of decisions

Chapter 6 - Other Issues – Liability, State Opt Out and Mount Gambier (PDF 13KB)

Term of Reference (i): Liability and insurance issues relating to deliberate and accidental contamination of non-genetically modified crops by genetically-modified crops and how those issues are being addressed in international regulatory systems

Liability and insurance
Comparisons with international regulatory systems
Concluding comments

Term of Reference (j): The validity and practicability of any proposed clause allowing individual States the right to opt out of the scheme and the implications of such an option in the context of Australia’s international trade and related obligations

The Gene Technology Bill 2000
Constitutional issues
International trade obligations
The Tasmanian situation

Term of Reference (k): The alleged genetically-modified canola contamination in Mount Gambier and the processes followed by the Interim Office of Gene Technology in investigating and reporting on the allegations

Existing system of administrative controls over genetically modified organisms
The investigation
Conclusions and outcomes from the IOGTR’s investigation
Monsanto and the release of GM cottonseeds
Issues arising from this case for the future
Concluding comment

Minority report by government senators (PDF 13KB)


Australian Democrats' – Additional comments (PDF 13KB)


Supplementary report – Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown (PDF 13KB)


Appendix One (PDF 13KB)

Organisations and individuals who presented written public submissions and supplementary information to the committee

Appendix Two (PDF 13KB)

Witnesses who appeared before the committee at public hearings

Appendix Three (PDF 13KB)

Regulation of gene technology– international comparisons

Appendix Four (PDF 13KB)

Selected statements of the precautionary principle/approach

Appendix Five (PDF 13KB)

Approval processes for the intentional release of genetically modified plants into the environment