Two recent publications show that risks to health have been underestimated
Munich, 13.6.2013 Two publications shedding light on the risk assessment of the genetically engineered maize SmartStax came out this week. Scientists in Australia fed a mixture of genetically engineered maize to pigs and found it had significant effects on their health. The feed used in the Australian trial had a similar mixture of residues from spraying with herbicides and insecticidal toxins as SmartStax. It is currently not known if SmartStax could have similar effects. There has, in fact, been no feeding study to investigate effects on health carried out with this maize, which produces a mixture of six insecticidal toxins and was made resistant against two herbicides.
Several thousand e-mails have been sent to political decision makers regarding the market authorisation of the genetically engineered maize, SmartStax. Although a vote was taken by the EU Member States in Brussels yesterday, a decision was not actually reached. Several thousand supporters from Germany have already signed a petition started by a coalition of NGO’s in May to support independent risk research. Testbiotech will continue to support both the action against SmartStax and the petition in the German Parliament.
8. June 2013 Recently, a non-authorised line of genetically engineered wheat was found in a field in Oregon. Currently it is unclear why the wheat was growing there. The wheat, which proved to be Monsanto wheat MON81700, was developed in the 1990s. Monsanto, however, stopped the commercialisation process for this crop in 2004. The plants contain a gene (cp4epsps) that makes them tolerant to herbicides with glyphosate as the active ingredient. The cp4epsps gene is also present in other herbicide tolerant crops such as soybean, maize, oilseed rape or cotton.