In 2003 the Federal Office of the Gene Technology Regulator approvedGM  canola for cultivation in Australia. It concluded that GM modified canola varieties produced by Bayer and by Monsanto, posed no greater risk to human health or the environment than conventionally bred strains. However, most State governments imposed a moratorium on GM crops pending further investigation.

In 2003, the NSW Government enacted the Gene Technology (GM Crop Moratorium) Act 2003 imposing a moratorium on the cultivation of certain GM crops. In 2004, the Victorian Government issued an order declaring a four-year moratorium in Victoria on the commercial scale planting of GM canola. All other states except Queensland and Northern Territory already had bans in place.

The NSW and Victorian bans were rescinded in 2008, while Western Australia approved the commercial cultivation and sale of GM canola in 2010. Tasmania and South Australia continued to ban GM modified crops.