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scientific evidence 2 support ogtr decision

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    "The adenoviruses we are using are similar to vaccine strains commonly used in the poultry industry. Using these adenoviruses is ideal in terms of maintaining biosafety standards because they are harmless to the animal and only infect one species," Dr Johnson says. "For example, a chicken adenovirus will infect only chickens, but not humans or other animals."

    Another safety factor is that the adenovirus and cytokines remain in the chicken for only a few days, while the protective effect lasts much longer. As a result, fully-grown chickens are completely free of the treatment. A big plus is the way treatments can be delivered to animals. Needles are no longer necessary -instead treatments can be mixed in with food or water or simply sprayed on.

    Numerous animal trials, performed at CSIRO's secure animal facilities, showed that treating chickens with an adenovirus carrying a cytokine - chicken gamma interferon - led to improvements in growth performance.

    Dr Jeff Fairbrother, Executive Director of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation, says the Australian poultry industry keenly awaits the release of this novel technology.

    All CSIRO research involving gene technology is rigorously safety tested before any products are released, following the guidelines set out by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR).

    Along with Dr Johnson and Dr Lowenthal, the winners of the CSIRO medal for the chicken adenovirus/cytokine research were Dr Andrew Bean, Dr Matthew Digby, Dr Kevin Fahey, Dr Adrian Hodgson, Mrs Terri O'Neil, Ms Cate Pooley, Dr David Strom and Dr Jennifer York.

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