Bruxelles, 11 July 2013. No qualified majority was reached today in a vote on EU market authorisation of genetically engineered maize SmartStax for import and usage in food and feed. EU Commissioner Tonio Borg is supposed to take a final decision within the next weeks. Please keep on supporting our e-mail action against the market authorisation of SmartStax. Up to now, 4500 e-mails were sent to the EU Commission.
On 11 July, the EU Commission and representatives from EU Member States will meet again to vote on the market authorisation of the genetically engineered maize SmartStax for use in food and feed. SmartStax is a joint Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences crop plant that produces six insecticidal proteins and is tolerant to two herbicides. Together with SmartStax, another nine new variants of genetically engineered maize will be on the agenda in July, all of them produce insecticidal toxins and are resistant to herbicides. One is sold under the brand name Powercore. Furthermore, pollen from genetically engineered maize MON810 is about to receive an authorisation for usage in food such as honey.
On 20 of June, the EU Commission sent a reply to Testbiotech in response to the e-mails they received concerning “Stop SmartStax” (http://www.testbiotech.de/node/834). Testbiotech is of the opinion that the reply is misleading and is likely to damage the credibility of the EU Commission. It looks like the Commission, while pushing for market authorisation, is giving preference to commercial interests rather than a scientific argumentation. Despite the EFSA having provided risk assessment of SmartStax as far back as 2010, the Commission only recently started the process of market authorisation after there were reports about SmartStax being imported illegally. Stopping these imports would conflict with the interests of feed industry and companies like Monsanto which are producing these plants.
Munich, 13.6.2013 Two publications shedding light on the risk assessment of the genetically engineered maize SmartStax came out this week. Scientists in Australia fed a mixture of genetically engineered maize to pigs and found it had significant effects on their health. The feed used in the Australian trial had a similar mixture of residues from spraying with herbicides and insecticidal toxins as SmartStax. It is currently not known if SmartStax could have similar effects.