… but Monsanto had access
The EU Commission is refusing to let independent experts have access to the report prepared by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) on the risk assessment of glyphosate. In a letter to Testbiotech dated 10 August 2015, the Commission says that the documents made available to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) by the German government “are protected in their entirety” as confidential. The EU Commission can see “no overriding public interest” that would justify access.
International Magazine Nature warns against insects with gene drive
After protests by a broad coalition of NGOs against plans to release genetically engineered olive flies in Spain, the UK company Oxitec now has withdrawn its application. As reported by Spanish media, Oxitec was informed by regional authorities that the experiments will not be allowed. After 2013, this is the second time that the company has failed to get approval for its application in Spain. Once released, the genetically engineered flies might spread throughout the Mediterranean region and all the locations where native populations of olive flies occur.
Trial puts biodiversity and olive production in the Mediterranean region at risk
The UK company Oxitec is planning to release genetically engineered olive flies into the environment in Spain (Catalonia). The insects are genetically manipulated in such a way that female descendants will die as larvae feeding inside the olives, while the next generations of male flies will survive. Oxitec plans to release up to 5000 of these flies per week in Spain, near the town of Tarragona. The field trial expected to last for one year will cover a netted area of 1000m2. However, if the flies escape they can spread without any control.