Today thirteen civil society organisations active in agriculture and environmental issues have officially alerted the European Commission that the wild ancestor of cultivated maize, teosinte, has appeared in Spain and is spreading widely in maize growing areas as an invasive species. Teosinte and maize have the potential to interbreed and form hybrids. This applies equally to genetically engineered maize MON810, produced by Monsanto and grown on more than 100,000 hectares in Spain.
New debate on the health risks of genetically engineered plants
26 January 2016 / Several new publications on the outcomes of feeding genetically engineered plants to cattle and goats have triggered a new controversial debate about the impact on the health of animals.
One new publication documents the case of a German farm where dairy cows died after being fed with genetically engineered plants (1). Although this happened about 15 years ago, the real causes are still cause for controversy. Industry continues to reject all the allegations that were made, and sees no need for further investigation.
In a letter to Testbiotech and GeneWatch UK, the responsible EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis admits that “it is true that the legislation requires cumulative and synergistic effects of pesticide residues to be considered”. At the same time, he also states that methods to assess these health effects are not yet available. The letter from the Commission was written in response to a call by the two organisations to stop market authorisation of herbicide resistant genetically engineered soybeans.
Report on the risks of genetically engineered animals for human health and the environment
11 January 2016 / Now that market authorisation has been granted for genetically engineered salmon in the US, several companies are already aiming to introduce other genetically engineered animals into agriculture. A Testbiotech report, commissioned by the Green Group in the German Bundestag, will be published today and provides a comprehensive overview of planned applications, the risks for human health and the environment and the consequences for agriculture.