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Germany abstained in vote on import of new genetically engineered soybeans

Split vote: Majority of 15 countries to 12 countries against authorisation for import
Friday, 14 July 2017

In the vote on import approval for a new variety of genetically engineered soybeans in Brussels on 12 July, Germany was the only country which abstained. According to well informed experts, 15 countries – such as France, Italy, Poland and Austria – voted against the authorisation, 12 countries – such as UK and Spain – were in favour. Just a day before the vote, the Committee on the Environment of the EU Parliament demanded that the import and use of these soybeans in food and feed was rejected. Despite all concerns, the EU Commission is expected to approve the authorisation.

EU Parliament against the approval of new genetically engineered soybeans

Committee on the Environment demands further investigation into the effects of herbicide applications
Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Tomorrow, EU Member States will vote in Brussels on import approval for a new variety of genetically engineered soybeans. Today, just before the vote, the Committee on the environment of the EU Parliament demanded that the import and use of these soybeans in food and feed was rejected. They maintain that residues left after spraying with specific herbicides to which the plants were resistant needed further and more detailed investigation before approval was given. The soybeans (DAS-68416-4) developed by the US company Dow can be sprayed with a combination of 2,4-D and glufosinate.

EU to decide on the import of new genetically engineered soybeans

Plants are resistant to a cocktail of herbicides known to be hazardous to human health
Friday, 7 July 2017

Important votes are scheduled to be taken mid-July in Brussels on EU imports of new genetically engineered soybeans. The soybean plants produced by Bayer and Dow AgroSciences are engineered to be resistant to the application of several herbicides. Consequently, the soybean harvest will be burdened with the respective residues. Nonetheless, the European Food Safety Authority EFSA has only partially assessed the residues of the herbicides and did not take combinatorial effects into account. According to the data available, consumption of the soybeans are likely to pose health risks.

A precedent case: CRISPR mushrooms

Pattern of changes in genome do not correspond to natural variations

26 June 2017 / Today in Berlin, experts are to meet in a conference organised by the German Ministry of Agriculture to discuss new methods of genetic engineering. One example of an organism created by these methods are mushrooms that have a delayed natural process of browning after being cut, and also have prolonged shelf-life. According to information issued by Pennsylvania State University where the mushrooms were developed, no additional genes were inserted and 'only' several short sequences removed from their DNA.

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