Member States and the EU Commission met in Brussels today
27 March 2017 / Today representatives of the Member States and the EU Commission met to discuss and vote on the cultivation of genetically engineered maize. The EU Commission wants to give new authorisations for the cultivation of genetically engineered maize before the growing season 2017 starts. Three variants of transgenic maize expressing insecticidal toxins, registered as MON810, Maize 1507 and Bt 11, are being considered. Monsanto, DuPont/Pioneer and Syngenta are pushing for the market introduction of the seeds.
Testbiotech, the Gene-ethical Network and and a German small farmers’ organisation (Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft, AbL) have sent a joint letter to the German state government of Lower Saxony, calling for clarification and information on research into genetically engineered insects. The letter was sent after an interview with a biologist at the University of Göttingen was published in a German scientific journal.
Testbiotech, the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) and the environmental organisation Sambucus have together filed an appeal (C-82/17 P) at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against the decision of the General Court of the EU from December 2016 (T-177/13). The appellants are contesting the ruling of the court, which approved the decision of the EU Commission to allow the import of the soybean. They are seeking clarity on fundamental legal questions concerning EU authorisation of genetically engineered plants.
Rice plants show reduced growth and irregular gene expression
15 February 2017 / A new publication has reported unintended effects in genetically engineered rice producing precursors of vitamin A, so-called carotenoids. Crossing the manipulated rice with the Indian variety Swarna led to a nasty surprise: The resulting plants showed extensive disturbance in their growth. The researchers identified several reasons for this: The new gene constructs interfere with the plant’s own gene for producing growth hormones, and the additional gene constructs were not, as intended, active solely in the kernels, but also in the leaves.