Nufarm Limited has welcomed today’s announcement by Australian regulators that approval has been granted for the production and use in feed and human consumption of the company’s proprietary omega-3 canola.
Developed by Nufarm subsidiary Nuseed Pty Ltd, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), this omega-3 canola is the world’s first plant-based source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
The Australian Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) announced that Nuseed’s omega-3 canola has been approved for cultivation and use in animal feed. Food uses of the omega-3 canola have been reviewed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), with approval granted for sale and use in food in Australia and New Zealand.
Long-chain omega-3 DHA and EPA are essential for human and fish health. This new proprietary product aims to help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks, which are the current source for this important nutrient. By providing a proven land-based source of these oils, Nuseed will help maintain adequate supply to meet increasing global demand for long chain omega-3s. It is anticipated that one hectare of Nuseed’s omega-3 canola has the potential to provide the omega-3 yield from 10,000 kilograms of wild caught fish.
Nufarm Managing Director and CEO, Greg Hunt, said the Australian approval represents a very significant milestone in the project and validates the quality of the product and extensive data which supported the regulatory application, as well as other applications lodged last year in North America.
“The Nuseed project team, and our collaboration partners, have met a major objective in bringing pioneering technology from concept stage to first approval in a relatively short period and are to be congratulated on this milestone.”
Nuseed Global General Manager Innovation and Strategy Andy Thomas, said that in Australia the balance of 2018 will focus on continued research activities relating to further field trials. In the US, the company has received approval for a significant scale-up of pre-commercial production under the USDA notification scheme, with planting scheduled to take place in April/May in Montana.
“We remain on track with our plan to commence commercialisation in 2019, with production programs planned in the US (pending US approval).”
“Importantly, today’s approval also facilitates additional regulatory applications in other markets that recognise Australia as a reference country. We will soon be lodging submissions in Asia, which is a large and growing market over coming months, particularly in relation to omega-3 nutraceuticals.”
The company plans to initially commercialise omega-3 oil – branded as Aquaterra™ – for aquaculture feed uses, followed by Nutriterra™ for human nutrition applications. The unique profile of the Nuseed oil ensures that it will easily fit with current market practices and meet the needs of multiple end-market applications on a commercially viable basis.
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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. CSIRO applies its world-leading scientific knowledge to create jobs, national wealth, a healthy and sustainable environment and improved living standards for all Australians. CSIRO is enhancing Australia’s food production systems through an integrated ‘farm-to-fork’ approach. CSIRO is delivering science to enable increased productivity and efficiencies at the farm level, improving the quality and yield of Australian crops, developing innovative food processing technologies, creating new value-added foods, and developing the nation’s livestock, aquaculture and fishery industries.
The grains industry plays a vital role in Australia’s economy, comprising 24 percent of total agricultural exports. The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) supports the industry through investing in world-class research, development and extension (RD&E) to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers. The GRDC invests over $192 million annually in around 900 research, development and extension (RD&E) projects to deliver new and improved varieties, practices, technologies, and capability to the Australian grains industry. These investments directly benefit growers across a broad range of research areas – from molecular biology to farming systems. The GRDC’s investments drive the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation.
Nuseed develops unique canola, sorghum and sunflower plant traits for high yields, and novel oils and proteins with specific consumer benefits. Through their identity preserved programs Nuseed is also creating new value and markets. There are nearly 300 Nuseed employees, including the support of more than 100 research staff, working across nine global locations plus two state-of-the-art Innovation Centers. Since starting in 2006, Nuseed now has sales in approximately 30 countries and advanced trials in Australia, Europe, North America and South America. Nuseed is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF).