The German government recently abstained in a vote on allowing EU imports of genetically engineered plants; and thereby effectively smoothed the way for the business interests of Bayer and Dow AgroSciences. These companies want the EU to approve two new genetically engineered soybeans for import and usage in food and feed. Both these new soybean plants have been engineered to be resistant to three herbicides known to leave residues in the harvest. According to the data available, consumption of the soybeans is likely to pose health risks.
In the vote on import approval for a new variety of genetically engineered soybeans in Brussels on 12 July, Germany was the only country which abstained. According to well informed experts, 15 countries – such as France, Italy, Poland and Austria – voted against the authorisation, 12 countries – such as UK and Spain – were in favour. Just a day before the vote, the Committee on the Environment of the EU Parliament demanded that the import and use of these soybeans in food and feed was rejected. Despite all concerns, the EU Commission is expected to approve the authorisation.
Tomorrow, EU Member States will vote in Brussels on import approval for a new variety of genetically engineered soybeans. Today, just before the vote, the Committee on the environment of the EU Parliament demanded that the import and use of these soybeans in food and feed was rejected. They maintain that residues left after spraying with specific herbicides to which the plants were resistant needed further and more detailed investigation before approval was given. The soybeans (DAS-68416-4) developed by the US company Dow can be sprayed with a combination of 2,4-D and glufosinate.
Important votes are scheduled to be taken mid-July in Brussels on EU imports of new genetically engineered soybeans. The soybean plants produced by Bayer and Dow AgroSciences are engineered to be resistant to the application of several herbicides. Consequently, the soybean harvest will be burdened with the respective residues. Nonetheless, the European Food Safety Authority EFSA has only partially assessed the residues of the herbicides and did not take combinatorial effects into account. According to the data available, consumption of the soybeans are likely to pose health risks.