The European Patent Office (EPO) has for ethical reasons now declared two patents on genetically engineered chimpanzees to be no longer valid. All claims on genetically engineered animals have to be removed from the patents concerned. The Technical Board of Appeal at the EPO decided in favour of oppositions and appeals filed by a broad coalition of animal welfare and environmental organisations. European patent law prohibits patents on the genetic engineering of animals if it is likely to cause animal suffering.
Potential applications encompass humans, animals, plants and many ecosystems
4 June 2020 / The number of projects aiming to genetically engineer microorganisms has increased strongly in recent years. More effective techniques of analysis and re-synthesis of gene sequences can now be used as starting point for seeking new markets for ‘SynBio’ organisms. Projects include microorganisms which, for example, colonise the gut of humans or bees, live on the surface or inside plants or are abundant in soils.
Transgenic plants are not being tested according to current EU regulations
29 May 2020 / In December 2019, the EU Commission decided to renew two market approvals for genetically engineered (GE) soybeans produced by Bayer. The soybeans (MON89788 and A2704-12) are resistant to applications of the herbicides glyphosate resp. glufosinate. The soybeans were first allowed for EU import more than ten years ago. Testbiotech has asked the Commission to withdraw the decision extending market approval. The reason: the risks associated with the GE soybeans were not assessed in accordance with current EU standards.
EU Parliament votes against import of soybeans with triple resistance to herbicides
14 May 2020 / Yesterday the EU Parliament voted with a huge majority against the import of genetically engineered (GE) soybeans (MON 87708 x MON 89788 x A5547-127) resistant to three herbicides produced by Bayer. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) considered the soybeans which inherit several transgenes, to be safe for human consumption. However, according to the EU Parliament, the risk assessment was not sufficient.