Testbiotech is warning that EU market authorisation might be given to a new genetically engineered soybean produced by Monsanto. Soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 was made resistant to two pesticides, glyphosate and dicamba. Spraying soybean crops with these herbicides leaves residues in the plants which might be carcinogenic. Glyphosate was recently classified as “probably carcinogenic” by an international expert group. Dicamba degrades to compounds such as formaldehyde, which has already been classified as carcinogenic for several years.
The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked the patent EP1409646 held by Altor BioScience. After the US company withdrew its controversial claims on genetically engineered chimpanzees, the EPO has now also revoked a changed version of the patent claiming genetically engineered rats and mice as inventions. The decision was made on the basis that there were flaws in the technical quality of the patent. The opponents believe this outcome is an important success, but are warning that it does not indicate a general change in the legal practice of the EPO.
US company Altor BioScience is to withdraw patent claims covering genetically engineered chimpanzees. The announcement has been made prior to a public hearing on oppositions against the patent (Patent EP1409646) on 7 and 8 July at European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich. The company still wants to keep its claims covering genetically engineered mice and rats. The opponents consider these claims to be morally unacceptable since such patents can provide incentives to carry out animal experiments for commercial reasons.
Scientists from France examine 13 samples from 9 countries
3 July 2015 / An investigation led by the French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini has found a broad range of environmental contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals and PCBs in feed used for laboratory animals such as rats and mice. The contaminants were detected in standard diets used for purposes such as raising the animals and feeding the control groups in toxicological studies. Some of the concentrations that were measured were above existing limits and the mixtures of contaminants could be said to be a health risk.