CSIRO to Start Human GMO Trials

ABC News
June 24, 2011

The CSIRO has been given permission to conduct Australia’s first trial in which humans will eat genetically modified wheat.

The wheat’s genes have been modified to lower the glycemic index and increase fibre to create a product which will improve bowel health and increase nutritional value.

For the first time, it is being grown in outdoor trials in the ACT.

The CSIRO’s Matthew Morell say animal feeding trials of up the three months have been done.

“Subject to that being successful we would move onto humans,” he said.

Dr Morell believes its a first for GM wheat. No genetically modified wheat strain has ever been approved for cropping in Australia.

“In Australia, that would be the case,” he said. “Internationally, I’m not aware of any others.”

But Laura Kelly from Greenpeace says there should be animal feeding trials for at least two years.

“You can see that they have no intention to test for negative health effects by just how short the time period is that they’re feeding this stuff to people,” she said.

The CSIRO has developed the wheat lines in a partnership which includes Europe’s largest grain company Limagrain.

The human trials are at least six months away.