The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) is on its way to approve a licence application from PaxVax Australia (PaxVax) for the intentional release of a GMO vaccine consisting of live bacteria into the environment in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.
According to the regulator, it qualifies as a limited and controlled release under section 50A of the Gene Technology Act 2000 (the Act).
PaxVax is seeking approval to conduct the clinical trial of a genetically modified live bacterial vaccine against cholera. Once underway the trial is expected to be completed within one year, with trial sites selected from local government areas (LGAs) in Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.
PaxVax has proposed a number of control measures they say will restrict the spread and persistence of the GM vaccine and its introduced genetic material, however there is always a possiblity of these restrictions failing and infecting wildlife and ecosystems.