Mating in natural populations will cause any offspring to die or be seriously mutilated
17 December 2017 / The European Patent Office has granted a patent on genetically engineered insects to Oxitec (EP1984512). The patent covers synthetic DNA sequences purposely engineered to mutilate or kill insects, including insects inheriting the DNA. Once released, the intention is that the insects will mate in natural populations. Any offspring will either be blind, unable to fly, sterile or die at an early stage of their development. In many cases, only the female offspring will be affected, while the males will carry on spreading the genes.
Today, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled on legal action brought against the import of genetically engineered Monsanto Intacta soybeans (T-177/13). According to the ruling, these genetically engineered soybeans were risk assessed in accordance with EU regulations. The ruling means that the court has given a stamp of approval to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) risk assessment and EU Commission decision-making.
According to a recent legal dossier, the pending applications for the cultivation of genetically engineered maize in the EU suffer from crucial deficiencies. In consequence, the pending applications must be rejected and the existing authorisation for cultivation of maize MON810 withdrawn. The applications were filed by Monsanto, Pioneer/DuPont and Syngenta. They have wholly ignored recent developments and failed to properly address the risk of the transgenes spreading to other plant species.
The uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered organisms is already a reality
4 December 2016 / The German Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendricks, has taken a clear stand against any release of genetically engineered organisms inheriting a 'gene drive'. In a statement she says, “I share your concern that 'gene drives' can severely impact ecosystems, and believe that special precautions are needed in research and risk assessment.