Testbiotech has filed a case at the General Court of the EU against authorisation for the import of genetically soybeans produced by Bayer and Monsanto. The soybeans sold under brand names, such as 'Balance GT' or 'Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans', can be sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate in combination with other herbicides e.g. isoxaflutole and dicamba. The combination of these herbicides and their residues from spraying were not assessed in respect to health risks. At least one of the herbicides, isoxaflutole, is classified as a suspected human carcinogen.
ZKBS committee declares that CRISPR-Cas applications for plants are not genetic engineering
30 March 2017 / At its meeting on the 7 March, the German Central Committee on Biological Safety (ZKBS) discussed applications for plants engineered using the new nuclease CRISPR-Cas gene technology. The applications were assessed at the request of the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). The ZKBS came to the conclusion that not all of these plants have to be regulated under the rules for genetically engineered plants.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a new draft policy on its independence and scientific decision-making, and is inviting comments from the public. Testbiotech is demanding the newly drafted policy is substantially improved. According to Testbiotech, EFSA should give priority to gaining more independence specifically in regard to the influence from agrifood industries. This is not the case with the current draft.
GeneTip project partners are the Universities of Bremen and Vechta
28 March 2017/ The central aim of the new pilot project is to collect information on the socio-ecological risks that could arise in the event of an uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered organisms into the environment. The researchers will, for instance, be taking a closer look at genetically engineered oilseed rape, genetically engineered olive flies as well as plants and animals with so-called gene drives.