Stage set for new wave of genetically engineered plants to be approved and imported after EU elections

Outgoing EU Commission might approve several controversial applications before handing over
Thursday, 23 May 2019

More than 40 organisations from science, environmental protection, lobby control, food production and agriculture have today published a joint letter. They warn that the outgoing EU Commission might approve around a dozen genetically engineered plants on the basis of scientifically unacceptable risk assessment before handing over.

New scientific publication shows differences between genome editing and conventional breeding

Outcome of German research project published in Frontiers in Plant Science

24 April 2019 /A new peer reviewed publication provides an overview of several differences between genome editing (CRISPR/Cas) and conventional plant breeding on the molecular level. It is the first scientific review specifically exploring this issue, and is the outcome of a German research project in horizon scanning of new methods in genetic engineering from the perspective of the protection of health, the environment and nature (“Fachstelle Gentechnik und Umwelt“). The publication is authored by Dr. Katharina Kawall and was published today in the Journal Frontiers in Plant Science.

EU Parliament votes for “transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain”

But not all details of the new regulation are real improvements

17 April 2019 / The EU Parliament has adopted a “new regulation on transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain”. The regulation requests industry and authorities to improve access to data with relevance for food safety and the environment. Most observers positively note that relevant data from industry must in future be registered in a publicly available database. Further, the EU Commission can now request specific investigations to resolve uncertainties and open questions regarding risk assessment.

How safe are glyphosate residues in genetically engineered plants?

Testbiotech calls for the re-assessment of import approvals

20 March 2019 / Testbiotech is demanding a detailed re-assessment of all import approvals for genetically engineered glyphosate-resistant plants after a US federal court confirmed that glyphosate mixtures, such as Roundup, can be a contributory risk factor for cancer. The plants can be sprayed with very high dosages of glyphosate, and in the countries where they are grown, such as South America and the US, herbicide mixtures can be applied that are not approved in the EU.


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