EU Commission meeting this week
Today, Testbiotech will publish its findings from a pilot project initiated to analyse herbicide residues in soybean crops grown in Argentina. The samples were taken shortly before the harvest was due, and analysed by a laboratory at the University of Buenos Aires. The results showed surprisingly high levels of residue in plants that had been sprayed with glyphosate. Almost 100mg/kg were found in one of the samples. In seven of eleven samples, the level of residue was above the international maximum residue level of 20 mg/ kg allowed for food and feed products. The samples were taken from fields in Argentina in regions that are known for the cultivation of genetically engineered soybeans. Nearly all the soybeans grown in Argentina are genetically engineered, and made resistant to the herbicide glyphosate (brands such as Roundup). These soybeans were originally developed by the US company Monsanto.
A legal dossier commissioned by Testbiotech and published today highlights substantial gaps in the current EU regulation of genetically engineered organisms. According to the dossier, it cannot be ruled out that genetically engineered plants are allowed for cultivation in the EU, even if they can spread without control in the environment. In the light of these findings, Testbiotech is urging a strengthening of the precautionary principle.