Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education Website Archive

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Why do we do biotechnology?

Biotechnology is used in a wide range of applications in food science, medicine, the environment and agriculture and research is rapidly expanding the possibilities of where it will be used next.

Any technology brings with it risks as well as benefits, and gene technology is no exception. These risks need to be carefully assessed before a GM plant, animal or micro-organism is released.

Government regulatory authorities assess the risks, which may include how readily the released organism could cross-breed with similar organisms in the environment. They may also consider whether the modification gives the organism extra survival advantages, and whether this could upset a balanced ecosystem.