Never before has the EU Commission authorised so many genetically engineered plants for import on just one day. Last Friday, 19 genetically plants were granted market authorisation, 17 for usage in food and feed, and 2 are for flowers (carnations). 10 of the plants approved for food and feed are new authorisations, the others are re-approvals. The overall number of genetically engineered plants that can be imported into the EU for use in food and feed has now risen to 58. Testbiotech plans to file a complaint to set a precedent case.
Nearly 30 organisations from Germany have published a joint appeal against the cultivation of oilseed rape produced by the US company, Cibus. The appeal is in response to a decision made by the German Minister of Agriculture. He believes that these plants, which have a genome engineered to be resistant to herbicides, do not have to be regulated in the same way as other genetically engineered organisms.
Publication triggers ethical questions and shows risks of new genetic engineering methods
23 April 2015 / According to a new scientifc publication, researchers from China for the first time have genetically engineered human embryos for experimental purposes. They were using new methods, so-called nucleases or DNA scissors (CRISPR/Cas). The result ring alarm bells: Several side effects were observed within the human genome, indicating severe health risks. The scientists are warning that the new methods might be introduced too fast and also demand a broader ethical debate.
Testbiotech has won an opposition against a patent held by Merck Serono at the European Patent Office (EPO). Patent EP 1794287 covered a process for the production and use of human oocytes (egg cells). European patent law excludes patents on the human body at the various stages of its development, including so-called germ cells. Testbiotech filed the opposition in April 2010 and the patent finally was revoked end of March 2015.