Munich, 31.12.2013 The results of a Testbiotech project on the uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered plants has been published in a review article in the international journal Environmental Sciences Europe. The article includes a global overview of regions and plant species that are being contaminated by genetically engineered plants. The authors of the report are calling for the precautionary principle to be strengthened and a ban on the release of genetically engineered organisms that cannot be removed from the environment.
The European Ombudsman has made a final judgement on the Testbiotech complaint about a conflict of interest at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The case concerns Mr. Harry Kuiper, who was chair of the GMO Expert Panel from 2003-2012. After inspecting the files at the offices of EFSA in Parma, the Ombudsman says they could not identify any conflict of interest in the period from 2009-2012. However, the most relevant period of time from 2003-2005 was excluded from detailed investigation.
According to a proposal of the EU Commission, genetically engineered maize 1507 will be approved for cultivation in the EU. The Member States of the EU are due to vote on maize 1507 within the next few weeks, and the European Parliament is currently preparing a resolution for next Tuesday. Maize 1507 is genetically engineered to produce a Bt toxin and was made resistant to the herbicide glufosinate. As a new report of Testbiotech shows, there is no doubt that maize 1507 poses a high level of risk to the environment.
The European Commission's Health and Consumers Directorate (SANCO) has short-listed a Director of the biggest EU food industry lobby group FoodDrinkEurope among the candidates to the Management Board of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Ms. Beate Kettlitz works in a leading position for the lobby group, which represents all major European food and drink corporations.