The European Patent Office (EPO) has again granted a patent that covers genetically engineered chimpanzees and other non-human primates. EP1364025 was granted on 31 July 2013 to Bionomics (Australia). The company claims human genes presumed to play a role in the prevention of cancer as an invention. According to the patent, the genes will be used to genetically manipulate the chimpanzees. As a result of the genetic manipulation, the great apes can have a higher risk of developing cancer.
The UK company Oxitec is planning to release genetically engineered olive flies into the environment in Spain (Catalonia) and Italy. The male insects are genetically manipulated in such a way that female descendants will die as larvae. The intention is to reduce the populations of olive flies. The larvae of these insects live inside the olives and can cause substantial economical damage. Oxitec plans to release an unspecified number of its genetically engineered male insects in Spain, near the town of Tarragona. The field trial will be netted to try to prevent the flies from escaping.
Application for SmartStax is not concerned
Brussels 18 July 2013. According to news agency Reuters, Monsanto will withdraw its EU applications for cultivation of genetically engineered plants. The announcement concerns seven applications, one for soybean, one for sugarbeets and five for maize. Only the application for renewal of authorisation of maize MON810 will be uphold.
Genetically engineered maize likely to be authorised
Munich/ Brussels 17 July 2013. Tonio Borg is unlikely to stop the authorisation of the genetically engineered maize SmartStax for usage in food and feed. This is the conclusion from a letter received by Testbiotech last week from the EU Commission. In its letter, the Commission claims that any scientific concerns have already been dealt with. There is only one feeding study with pigs still to be assessed by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).