Genetically modified (GM) cotton in Australia
The Regulator maintains oversight of commercially grown GM cotton, to ensure it remains safe.
GM cotton was first grown in Australia in 1996. Over 99.5% of cotton grown in Australia now is genetically modified. The GM cotton plants are either herbicide tolerant, resistant to major insect pests, such as bollworm, or both.
These traits assist farmers with pest and weed management, and may reduce the environmental impacts of farming when compared with conventional (non-GM) cotton. GM cotton can only be grown with the approval of the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator). Criminal charges can apply for non-authorised activity with GM crops of any kind.