Rosalie McCauley, Michael Davies, and Anita Wyntje
Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia

This article presents a review and analysis of the process of commercial adoption of genetically modified (GM) canola in Western Australia with the aim of providing information to aid in the planning for the adoption of GM crops in the future.

Adoption of GM canola proceeded in two steps. In 2009, there were limited-size commercial trials, and in 2010 there was unrestricted commercial cultivation of GM canola. The Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia had the role of an independent monitor and auditor of these GM plantings.

There was effective segregation of non-GM canola from GM canola in 2009 and 2010. There was a coexistence-related event where an organic grower lost certification of a portion of his property due to the presence of GM plant material. This case highlights the need for realistic thresholds in biological systems to enable coexistence of different production systems.

Key words: Coexistence, genetically modified canola, organic, standards, genetically modified organism legislation, thresholds, accidental presence.