Next May 7, Member States sitting in the Council of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) will vote to appoint seven members of the Management Board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). EFSA is responsible for the risk assessment of all issues related to food and feed safety in the EU including genetically engineered plants, pesticides and food additives. Its Management Board is the food agency's governing body, also in charge of its independence.
Australian company Bionomics holds patent on human genes and genetically engineered great apes
Almost a dozen organisations have filed a joint opposition against a European Patent (EP1364025) granted to the Australian company Bionomics. The company is claiming human genes that have a link to cancer as its invention. According to the patent, the human DNA will be used to genetically engineer chimpanzees and other animal species such as pigs, sheeps, cats and dogs. Consequently, these animals may have a higher risk of developing cancer and will be used in animal experiments.
Will the EU Commission give the green light for cultivation in May?
In just a few weeks time the EU Commission could give permission for the commercial cultivation of maize 1507. According to an exchange of letters between the Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the authority is currently assessing relevant documents including some reports from Testbiotech, the results of which might be available at the end of April. If EFSA declares it has found no new evidence, the EU Commission can authorise the maize that was jointly developed by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred / DuPont.