Munich/ Brussels 20 December 2012. Testbiotech has informed the new Commissioner Tonio Borg about its suspicions that the genetically engineered maize, SmartStax, has been imported into the EU for years without legal authorisation. It is a joint Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences product, which produces six insecticidal proteins and is tolerant to two herbicides. SmartStax was assessed by the European Food Safety Authority EFSA in 2010, but the results of the assessment were controversial and the maize was not authorised.
Eleven organisations from Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain have filed a joint opposition against a patent on genetically engineered chimpanzees granted to the US company Intrexon. Patent EP1456346 was granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in February 2012. The animals will be manipulated with synthetic DNA originating from insects and are intended for use in pharmaceutical research. The joint opposition argues that this patent violates ethical provisions in patent law.
A briefing published today by public interest groups highlights how regulatory decisions on GM insects in Europe and around the world are being biased by corporate interests (1).
Munich/Berlin 7. November, 2012. A request by the NGOs Testbiotech and Gene-ethical Network (GeN) to initiate public discussion on research with high risk-related flu viruses has been rejected by the German Chancellery. Both organisations wanted Angela Merkel to speak out against the creation of new variations of the bird flu virus (H5N1) and endorse limited access to genetic data. Although the petition contained 250 signatures, the Chancellery refused acceptance and any direct dialogue on this matter.