Today the European Patent Office in Munich is granting a patent on a cloning technology (EP 1711599) that was used by the team working with the controversial Korean researcher Hwang Woo-Suk. In comparison to the original application, the patent as granted is substantially reduced and now only covers the medium used for growing the cells. The patent was applied for in 2004 and originally claimed methods for producing and using of human embryos for the production of embryonic stem cells.
Experts at Testbiotech have filed a statement to the EU Commission on an opinion given by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The statement concerns the genetically engineered oilseed rape GT73 produced by the US company Monsanto. This oilseed rape is genetically engineered to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate (also known under its brand name Roundup). The EFSA delivered a favourable opinion to allow further imports for use in the food chain. GT73 was assessed once before by the EFSA in 2004 (for details see: EFSA GMO watch, link).
Four NGOs, Testbiotech, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO Brussels), Friends of the Earth Europe (FOE), and Lobbycontrol are now jointly addressing the EU Commission about a scandal involving a leading member of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) who moved directly into the agribusiness company Syngenta. They are calling for a thorough investigation of the circumstances and urging the commission to take immediate action.
The former head of the GMO-panel at the European Food Safety Authority EFSA, Suzy Renckens, has moved directly into the genetic engineering industry without any objections or restrictions being imposed by the authority. This was revealed in documents sent by the EFSA upon request to the group of experts at Testbiotech, Germany.