Biotechnology is a broad term for a group of technologies based on the application of biological processes. It is used to make or modify foodstuffs and medicines, reduce wastes and environmental impacts and create renewable energy sources. Modern biotechnology is the term used to describe a range of processes and techniques especially at the molecular genetic level. Examples of biotechnology applications include cell culture, genomics, molecular-marker assisted breeding, cloning, bioprocessing and diagnostic testing as well as gene technology (genetic modification).
The Department of Primary industries (DPI) believes that biotechnology offers significant benefits for producers, the food manufacturing industry, consumers and the community. Indeed, biotechnology could offer considerable economic benefits by improving the productivity and quality of agricultural products, as well as contributing to the development of sustainable farming systems. The Department has developed a Biotechnology Strategy that provides the framework for research and development in the agrifood sector in the context of the Biotechnology Strategic Development Plan for Victoria, designed to drive economic, environmental and community benefit.
At the same time, DPI is aware of public concerns regarding the application of biotechnology. It is committed to providing factual information that will promote a better understanding of this developing technology and support the community to make informed decisions regarding the application of biotechnology in agriculture and natural resource management.
DPI is working with farmer organisations, marketing experts, conservation authorities and regulators to evaluate the performance, environmental impact and marketing implications of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Victorian agriculture.
As part of its commitment to provide information to the community, DPI has developed this website.